Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend & Giveaway

Thank you all for the kind words (again) regarding Josh’s broken ankle. A lot of people asked how they missed the break the first go round. We went to an emergency walk in center and a radiologist wasn’t working there on the weekend. Since the break wasn’t completely obvious on the x-rays, it wasn’t caught until the radiologist reviewed the x-rays on Monday. Also, a bundle of you asked about the dish I baked the pasta in- it is one of Rachael Ray’s and I absolute love it! Her dishes come in lots of fun colors.

This week has been nutty between work, teaching at the gym and taking care of Josh and Frank. BUT- there has been lots of fun and good eats too. After work on Friday, I met up with Lindsay for a misto at Starbucks:


IMG_0081 Friday night, we did some barbequing at home. I grilled up some jalapeno burgers for Josh (ground beef, ketchup, chopped jalapeno & onion, and chile powder):


While I enjoyed lots of grilled veggies and a bean burger and some fresh watermelon:

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This morning, I taught Body Step & Pump, relaxed, did some housework and some work work. I wanted to get Josh out of the house so we took a quick run to Chick-fil-A (Josh loves their nuggets and fries).  I got a big salad and one of their parfaits courtesy of a coupon Lindsay gave me (thank you :)).

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Tonight, Josh and I are laying low. What are you up to?

A month or so ago, I won a contest on Janetha’s blog and received my very own Tofu Xpress.

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This is a very cool kitchen tool, but I’ve just decided that at home tofu making may not be for me (or enough for me that I would use this frequently). I know a lot of you out there would love this. If you want to win, just let me know in the comments and tell me how you normally prepare tofu. The contest will be open until midnight tomorrow (August 1) and the winner will be randomly selected. You do not need to have a blog to enter. Good luck!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mosaic & A Pasta Bake

PHEW! It has been one of those weeks. How about for you? Josh is healing, but we found out his ankle is actually broken versus just sprained. He has been a trooper and I have been a pretty sweet nurse, if I do say so myself. A few exciting things in this post: 1. A pasta bake, 2. Blogger Meet-up at Mosaic, 3. Giveaway winner.

Since I knew I would be attending a blogger meet-up, I wanted to make sure my patient still had a delicious meal for dinner.

  • I baked up a piece of chicken in some Italian spices
  • The chicken was then sliced thin (almost shredded) and mixed with cooked pasta, pasta sauce, hot sauce, ricotta, parmesan cheese and artichoke pieces
  • On top of the mixture, I placed some additional grated parmesan and Italian bread crumbs
  • The mix was baked at 375 for 20 minutes and then placed under the broiler for ~2 minutes

The outcome:

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While Josh ate this bake, I headed to Mosaic (one of Lindsay’s favorite restaurants) to meet up with Lindsay, Amelia, Blair, Christina, Katie & Kerr. I love the atmosphere at Mosaic and all of the fresh, local food options.


Today, I went with the Village Summer Salad special (without the chicken):


The girls:


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Me & Lindsay:


And, Amelia brought us AMAZING treats!Granola, cookies & grown up smores. As I’ve mentioned before, Amelia is a trained pastry chef and everything she makes seems to be delicious  Josh and I already sampled the Smores….oh my goodness- so good!:



Thank you for the good time ladies!

Mosaic Cafe & Catering on Urbanspoon

And now- for the winner of the Oikos Chocolate Themed Indulgence giveaway….AMANDA from The Nutritionist Reviews. Congratulations!! Send me your address (itzyskitchen at gmail dot com) and I will get your prize sent to you. I will have another giveaway up on Friday, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Breakfast All Day Long & A Giveaway!

Hope the rest of your weekend was fantastic. Thank you for the well wishes for Josh. He is feeling a bit better but is really bruised and swollen.

Sunday morning, I taught Body Pump and then we decided Josh needed to get out of the house. We met up with our friends Bryan and Mandi and headed to downtown Charleston for brunch at Virginia’s On King.

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I had heard SO much about this restaurant and was super excited to try it out. Virginia’s has great upscale, southern charm.

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Mandi & Bryan:

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Me & Josh:

 rand 005 The restaurant had incredible coffee and even offered skim milk (!!). We each tried different dishes. Josh got the Crab & Asparagus omelette (spelling as per Virginia’s) topped with hollandaise. Josh enjoyed the omelette but did say it was a little lacking in flavor:

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Mandi got the Farmer’s Omelette:

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Bryan got the quiche with a side of biscuits and gravy:

rand 008 And I (shocking) got the fruit, granola and yogurt plate. Their fruit was so good, so fresh! The granola was ok. I enjoyed the big chunks, but flavor-wise it was just alright. The yogurt was very tasty- nice and tart.

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Given all of the above, the coffee, fresh fruit & atmosphere were enough to win me over. I’d like to go back to Virginia’s for dinner.

Virginia's on King on Urbanspoon

The rest of my day was spent working, switching up choreography and cooking. For dinner, I made up some more breakfast- Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip pancakes based on this recipe:

   rand 012 A great Sunday overall!!!!

And now for a giveaway! Have you tried Stonyfield’s new Oikos Chocolate and Caramel Greek yogurt?


I think they make the perfect, protein packed dessert or even a sweet breakfast. According to the folks at Oikos:

“New Chocolate and Caramel pure pleasure-on-the-bottom Oikos Organic 0% fat Greek yogurt flavors offer a healthy, yet indulgent treat all in one convenient snack-sized cup. With only 110 calories and 10 grams of protein per 4 ounce serving, it’s a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Because Oikos is organic, it’s made with organic milk from farms that don’t use toxic persistent chemicals and fertilizers, antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. Through our purchases of organic ingredients, annually we support over 180,000 acres of organic land.”

P1080130 Stonyfield was nice enough to send me some coupons (for free- disclaimer!) to try out these yogurts and now you too can try them for yourself! Stonyfield/Oikos and Itzy’s Kitchen will be giving one winner a chocolate-themed indulgence giveaway package including:

- 1 coupon for a free Green & Black Organic Chocolate Bar

- 1 sample of Numi Organic Chocolate tea

- 1 Dagoba/Eco Lips Organic Chocolate chapstick

- 1 Skinnyskinny real cocoa organic soap bar

- 2 free coupons for Chocolate and Caramel Oikos multipacks

- Recipe card set featuring Chocolate Cheesecake, as well Oikos spatula

Photo of Chocolate Giveaway

How do you enter? There are a couple options (each requires a separate comment):

1. Watch a Stonyfield YouTube video ( ) and leave me a comment on something you learned about organics, or organic farming, etc.

2. Leave a comment telling me your favorite way to eat Greek yogurt

Entries must be received by noon on Tuesday, July 27. You DO NOT need to have a blog to enter.

What are you most looking forward to this week? We have another blogger meet up on Wednesday- cannot wait!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Buitoni, Weekend & ER

Hello! Sorry to have gone a bit MIA- this week and weekend have been a bit hectic. How has your weekend been so far?

Our weekend started off with a taste test courtesy of Food Buzz and Buitoni.  I received a coupon for a free (disclaimer!) meal for two from Buitoni and ran out to my local Publix to use it up. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any of the vegetarian Buitoni entrees, so I purchased this Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli for Josh to test out:


I cooked up the meal according to the package directions and it could not have been any easier (one pot meal!).  I only used about 1/8 the sauce top the pasta. As others have noted, it comes with a TON of sauce (which is better than not enough). Once the meal was ready, I handed over this meal for two to my 6’3”ish husband to attack.


He obviously thought it was terrible ;)

IMG_0044 I asked him to write a little review for you:

“The seafood taste was light and not overpowering. The sauce was impressive for having arrived frozen – although there was enough sauce for 8 plates of noodles.”

So there you have it! After dinner, we headed out to meet friends and to listen to live music. Fabulous.

This morning, I taught Body Step and then headed over to my favorite place to meet Lindsay for breakfast. I got the usual coffee…


and apple parfait… 


We had a blast chatting away (as always!!). And we practiced our self portrait skills:


Thanks for the good times Linds!

After breakfast, I ran home to get ready to go to the pool for some sunshine. Just as I was about to put on the sunscreen, my cell phone rang and it was Josh…he had very badly twisted his ankle playing basketball and needed to go to the ER. After x-rays and an exam, it was determined that nothing was broken- just a very bad sprain (his ankle is ginromous). Poor guy can’t put ANY weight on that leg/ankle for four days and then it will take about a month+ to fully recover. He is hobbling around on crutches.  I was supposed to travel for work this week, so I am working on trying to rearrange my trip. Off to take care of my patient. Whats on tap for you for the rest of the weekend?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Protein Review & A New Camera(!!)

First off, thank you all for your sweet comments on my 80’s gear from the launch. I love dressing up silly and will take any excuse to do so. I also enjoyed reading all of your comments regarding how much you love your blogger friends.

Since I don’t post all of the meals I eat, I haven’t shared with you my love for my occasional almost daily protein shake. Especially in the summer, there is nothing like a great shake post workout. My favorite protein powders to date are Optimum Nutrition’s Whey and Jay Robb’s egg white. Recently, I was contacted by Stephanie about a new website, America’s Nutrition. According to Stephanie, the website carries a very wide variety of products, from fitness gear to skincare (all sorts of goodies!!). Stephanie sent me some new-to-me protein power to review from Optimum Nutrition, 100% Soy Protein (disclaimer: I received this product for free, but the opinions below are my own).

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I choose the Strawberry flavor, as I’m a sucker for anything fruit flavored. This protein did not disappoint. Unlike most non-dairy protein powders that I have tried, it “fluffed up” nicely, creating a thick and delicious drink. The flavor was also awesome- tasting just like a strawberry milkshake. Again, unlike most other non-dairy protein powders, it did not taste super chalky. On my first sip, I could taste the soy just a bit, but didn’t notice it after that (or in any of the shakes I’ve had since then).

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Thank you Stephanie! If you’re looking for a great website to purchase supplements, protein powders, health and beauty items, etc- check out America’s Nutrition.

One last note before I go. I really appreciated all the feedback you guys provided on what kind of camera you use/recommend. I decided to go with a smaller camera, since I carry it with me on a daily basis. I got a Powershot SD1300 and am LOVING it. 

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Do you drink protein shakes? What is your favorite brand/flavor?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I <3 the 80’s & Blog Friends

When you first started reading blogs or writing a blog, did you ever think you would develop real friendships from it? I always thought of “internet” friends as totally dork/something I would never do. I must admit, my thoughts on this topic have completely changed!!  Through blogger meet ups and multiple emails with other food bloggers, I have really developed some incredible friendships. One of those friends is a blogger named Sarah, whose blog was one of the first I read on a regular basis. Her recipes are incredible and I keep a few of them (including her granola and bundles) in my regular cooking/baking rotation.  This week Sarah sent me the most thoughtful package from TJs:



I can’t wait to try the Seaweed Snacks and Fiberful Ends & Pieces!! And I already had a nibble of the dark chocolate with hazelnuts (amazing).  Thank you so much Sarah. Have you developed any noteworthy friendships through blogging? Any bloggers in particular you’re especially glad you “met”?

Monday night, we had the Body Step 80 launch party. I made up some of Sarah’s granola for the other instructors:


Then I got geared up and headed out. I rocked a sweat band, side pony, cut off shirt and kiddie leg warmers. A couple pictures from the launch:




It was an absolute blast!

How are your workouts coming this week? Since its Workout Wednesday Tuesday, here is my plan

  • Monday: Taught Body Pump (AM), Step Launch (PM)
  • Tuesday: Teach Body Attack
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday:  Teach 45 minute Step, 45 minute Pump
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday:  Teach Body Step
  • Sunday: Teach Body Pump

Enjoy the rest of your day!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sette & Weekend

Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was super busy. I taught a chunk and had to do a good deal of work, work to do (unfortunately). BUT, I did still get to spend some wonderful time with Josh, Frank, friends & got in a couple hours at the pool.

On Saturday night, we tried a new-to-us restaurant, Sette.

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Sette is another tasty Dine with Sal restaurant like Long Point Grill and Mustard Seed (someone I know loves Sal & his restaurants ;)).

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We went to Sette with our wonderful friends Bryan & Mandi. Unfortunately for us, we arrived to a wait and we were all super hungry! The kitchen was also a little slow getting our food out, but they did apologize a lot for the delay. Thankfully, we had their amazing bread and olive oil to hold us over. This chick may have eaten three pieces of this deliciousness ;)

 Sette 003 Some how, the couples ended up not sitting together, haha. Josh & Mandi:

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Bryan and myself (I think I’m eating too many carrots & sweet potatoes…I’m looking a little orange hehe):

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When the food did arrive, it was fantastic. I got the Pine Nut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad (and thought of this lovely lady who loves Sal’s crusted goat cheese):

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Josh got the Chicken Parm:

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Mandi got the Vegetable Lasagna (which I would have gotten if it weren’t for the mushrooms…):

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and Bryan got the Eggplant Parm:

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We all enjoyed our dishes, the flavors were great! It is definitely not authentic/authentic Italian- but I still loved every bite and plan to go back!!

Sette on Urbanspoon

Busy week ahead! Lots of teaching (Body Step 80’s Launch tonight!!!) and a busy work schedule. What do you have going on this week?