Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Body Attack Launch & A Giveaway

First off, there is a fun giveaway at the bottom of this post from the CSN stores (they have all kinds of goodies including vanity items).

Thank you all for the sweet comments on my Boston post. A few of you asked where I got my grey tank top from- Banana Republic Outlet, $9!

How has your week been? This week has been just pure craziness for me. Work has been super busy. We also had our Body Attack launch on Tuesday night. Two VERY special guests came the the launch, Christina from Hungry Meets Healthy (whose birthday is today- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!) and Amelia:


It was so fun to have them both at the launch. We did a Red, White & Blue theme for the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Instructors:P1090133 The launch went really well. After, Amelia (who is a trained pastry chef) gave Christina and I some amazing treats. Breakfast cookies and truffles:



Both treats are vegan and contain no added sugar! I already ate one of the breakfast cookies….it may be the best cookie I’ve ever had! Thank you Amelia!!!

How are your workouts coming this week? My schedule is looking as follows:

  • Monday:  Ran 6 miles outside
  • Tuesday: Body Attack launch
  • Wednesday:  Ran to warm up, taught Body Pump
  • Thursday:  Teach 45 minute Body Step, 45 minute Body Pump
  • Friday:  Off
  • Saturday:  Teach Body Step
  • Sunday: Off

And now…for the giveaway! I’ve told you how much I love the CSN stores. They carry a HUGE variety of products including kitchen goods and even vanities. I know Janetha loves their furniture selection.  The nice people at CSN stores are offering you the chance to win a $150 one time use gift certificate. All you have to do is visit their main website and tell me what you may buy with the gift certificate if you win. You DO NOT have to have a blog to enter! The contest will be open until noon on Thursday (July 1) and the winner will be announced on Friday! Good luck.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Hello! I am so sorry to have been MIA for so long ( a week…yikes!). Something you may (or may not) know about me is that I have lived in 8 States. I spent the majority of my Middle & High school years in the Boston area. I left this past Thursday to head back to Boston with my Mom to visit my Sister, BIL & adorable niece. Along the way, I was able to attend an AMAZING blogger meet up, see my best friend, and have lots of great eats. I will let the pictures do most of the talking:

Sweet Bites Bakery & Cafe in Acton. Just adorable with tasty treats. Their menu is written on the wall & they have delicious coffee and awesome looking cupcakes:

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I sampled a few of their coffee blends, but enjoyed their traditional Guatemalan best. I also had their Mueslix (aka a parfait) with a yummy blend of fruits:

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Sweet Bites on Urbanspoon

When in Boston, you must enjoy a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. I swear, the Dunkin Donuts in the Boston area are completely different than they are in other parts of the country (I never stop at Dunkin in SC…ick!):


I also was lucky enough to attend a blogger meet up at Vlora.

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Bridget of Yogurt and Berries was sweet enough to meet me outside of the city and drive me in. Bridget is so down to earth and just genuinely nice- it was a lot of fun to catch up with her on the way in. Here is a picture of the two of us being blown away by the wind at the end of the night:



The meet up also included:


When we first sat down, Vlora sent us out some great crusty rolls and a sampling of dishes to try. Everything was so flavorful, but my two favorites dishes were the feta and watermelon and Greek salads.

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I enjoyed the Greek salad so much, I ordered one for dinner (check out that big hunk of feta!!):


Yummy food and a great group of ladies! Thank you to Vlora for all of their hospitality.

Vlora on Urbanspoon

I was able to squeeze in an early morning run on my trip. I did about 6.5 miles. It was such a change to run in low humidity!


I met up with my best friend Kelley who I hadn’t seen in ages.


And last, but not least, I got to visit one of my favorite stores:


Such a wonderful trip :). How was your weekend? Look for a Giveaway on Wednesday!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BBQ Leftover Bowls & Vegan or Not Bread (Updated)

Leftovers are great! Especially when you mix them up to create a new/different meal. I took the leftovers from our Father’s Day BBQ, added a few ingredients, and came up two great dinner bowls.

My bowl contained brown rice, fresh sliced tomatoes, summer squash (cooked up with some cumin & chili powder) and vegetarian baked beans:


Josh’s bowl contained brown rice and a stir fry of sorts. I mixed together cooked summer squash (seasoning described above), corn taken off the cob, a little tomato sauce (you could also use salsa), and a broken up burger. I later topped this with some chopped jalapeno:


And, on the side, we had cantaloupe:


I also had time to play around with my Vegan or Not Multigrain Bread recipe. I switched the portions of AP & Whole Wheat flour and really like how it adjusted the density and flavor of the bread.

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How are your workouts coming this week? I am traveling from Thursday- Sunday this week (more to come on this!!), so mine are a little up in the air:

  • Monday: Ran to warm up, Taught Body Pump
  • Tuesday: Teach Body Attack
  • Wednesday: Run through new Body Attack
  • Thursday: Run outside?
  • Friday:  Off
  • Saturday: Run outside?
  • Sunday:  Off

Do you workout when you travel?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father’s Day Grilling

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there! I had a few special “Dads” I celebrated with today. First up, Frank’s Dad! Frank got Josh some Under Armor t-shirts and helped me make him breakfast (well…he watched…ok, he slept while I cooked). Josh had requested waffles, so I used this recipe and made him up some waffles topped with syrup and bananas. He enjoyed a great breakfast in bed:


Later in the day, my Mom & Dad, Aunt, Uncle & Cousin came over for a BBQ. I had made up some granola for my Dad and had also gave him a fishing Under Armor t-shirt.


My Mom, Aunt & I split the food. I laid out some nuts and crackers & hummus for appetizers. My Aunt also made some deviled eggs:


For the meat eaters, I made up two different kinds of burgers:

1. The first contained ground beef, jalapenos, Chile powder and salsa

2. The other contained beef, Montreal steak seasoning and a little ketchup mixed in (I unfortunately didn’t get any finished pictures of them because I was busy laying the food out…when I looked up- they were gone!)

The burgers were placed on top some rolls my Aunt brought.  Topping options were pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos, BBQ sauce & ketchup:


I also cooked up some Bush’s Vegetarian Baked beans and roasted up some corn that my Mom brought in the oven a la Averie (corn baked in the husks in the oven turn out perfect!!):


I made up my cool whip dip (cool whip + 1 single serving yogurt). The dip was served alongside some fruit my Aunt brought:

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My Mom also brought an Asian Coleslaw she made and a regular coleslaw:


I made up a few quick/easy desserts. A blackberry and raspberry crisp:


I simply placed blackberries/raspberries in the bottom of a baking dish and sprinkled them with a little sweetener. For the topping I mixed ~ 2 cups oats, 1/2 stick smart balance, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup coconut, 1/3 cup macadamia nuts. Baked at 350 for ~25 minutes.

I also made a Weight Watchers inspired dessert (as someone in attendance has been following the weight watchers points plan). I used No Pudge Cappuccino brownie mix & mixed in 1 15-oz container pumpkin puree (instead of yogurt):


The BBQ was a success! My Mom, me & My Aunt:


Me & My Dad:


What did you do today?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vegan (or not) Nut/Seed/Chip Bars

Hope you are enjoying the weekend so far! I wanted to share a fun bar recipe with you. If you’ve been reading Itzy’s Kitchen for a while, you know that I am always making adjustments to my bar recipes to come up with new creations. This one is a Vegan Nut/Seed/Chip bar. I call it Vegan (or not) because if you add chocolate chips that contain dairy vs. no chips, non-dairy chocolate chips, or carob chips, its obviously no longer vegan ;).


  • 2 cups dry oats
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour (or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1 cup seeds, nut & chocolate or carob chips (your choice, any combination)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil ( you can sub this out….but I think this small amount of oil does good stuff for these bars)
  • ½ rounded cup apple sauce


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Spray (somewhat heavily) a baking pan with non stick spray(I used a Pyrex dish)

3. Combine first 5 ingredients, break up any chunks of brown sugar

4. Add in wet ingredients and mix until well coated


5. Spread mixture into pan and press down with the back of a spoonula/spatula


6. Bake for ~30 minutes

7. Let bars cool and cut!

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Asian Black Beans & Rice

Thank you all for telling me about your favorite substitutes. Here are a few of your suggestions:

  • Stephanie substitutes white vinegar for traditional household cleaners
  • Erin adds turmeric to most dishes to replace or in addition to cayenne or paprika
  • Anne Marie likes to replace breadcrumbs with oatmeal
  • Winterjade uses banana instead of eggs in her pancakes

And the winner of the Substituting Ingredients book is…Megan D of the Oatmeal Diaries- wahooo! Congrats! Email me at Itzyskitchen at gmail dot com and I will get your book to you.

The rest of my week has been a lot more easy/peasy! I’ve been having to take Frank for his walks early in the morning (5 or 6 AM) due to the heat! Even at that time, its still almost 80 degrees and humid. I love it…Frank does not:


I did manage to get a nice run in on Wednesday. It was cloudy so the heat wasn’t too bad. I set out to do 50 minutes and ended going a bit over, but covered about 6.3 miles:


Wednesday night, I used inspiration from No Meat Athlete to make a new take on beans and rice. The dish doesn’t look gorgeous but tasted great! 


  I adjusted Erin’s recipe just a bit:


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 15 oz can reduced sodium black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 small container pineapple tidbits (juice reserved)
  • 1 small container water chestnuts
  • 3 large carrots, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder


Mix 5 spice powder in with cooked rice and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil. Add carrots and red pepper and cook for a minute or two. Add beans and water chestnuts and cook until carrots are cooked through but still crunchy (as Erin noted :)). Remove from heat. Add soy sauce, 1/3 the reserved pineapple juice and pineapple. Place on top of rice.

I’m off to meet my friend Jill for some brunch and then its work time! Weekend plans??