Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Black & Refried Bean Soup

Thank you all for the compliments on the baby’s room!

How has your week been so far? Mine has been very productive and pleasant! Our baby boot camp on Tuesday night was pretty good. I learned a few interesting things and feel a LITTLE more prepared Winking smile.

On both Monday and Tuesday night, we enjoyed a black and refried bean soup. Inspired by Maris’ amazing looking black bean and corn stew, I made the following black bean and refried bean soup:


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-oz can low-sodium black beans (do not drain)
  • 1 15-oz can vegetarian refried beans
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomato (one plain, one with roasted garlic and onion) (you can either leave these as is or you can purée them as I did- Josh is not a tomato chunk fan)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • Toppings: Plain Greek yogurt, cheese, tortilla chips, baked tortillas, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc



In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add chopped jalapeno, onion and cumin. Cook for ~5 minutes until fragrant.

Add in black beans, refried beans, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

Add corn and peas and continue cooking for ~5 minutes. Top with whatever your heart desires Smile

The result:



My toppings included tomato (from our garden), plain chobani and a toasted tortilla. I had a bowl of cantaloupe on the side:


Josh’s toppings were tortilla chips, cheese & jalapenos. He had a bowl of pineapple on the side:


Super tasty! Can you do soup/stew/chili in the summer? Or is this a fall/winter only food for you? I actually really enjoy bean soups/chilis in the summer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Baby Room

I know I said I’d only do baby posts on Sundays…….but this deserves its own special post! As I mentioned in my previous post, Josh’s family was in town for part of the weekend. His sister, Jenny, is an amazing artist and offered to paint the baby room as a present to us. Once we picked the beachy theme, she went to work. Check out this AMAZING work:

A large & small Adirondack chair and palm tree with a coconut (the coconut was Josh’s request Winking smile):



And on the other side, a bucket, shells, and an umbrella. Underneath the umbrella are little Frank paw prints (hard to see in the picture, but they look awesome in person)!





Just AMAZING! Jenny also wants to paint a sandcastle on one of the other walls and have the baby’s name (uh, once we pick one….) written in the sand! So cool. Thank you Jenny! You are best!

Frank is a little confused as to what this new room is all about…



Are you artistic? I have like zero artistic talent- I’m SO amazed by people that can paint and draw!!

Anything exciting going on for you this week? We have our Body Step launch on Thursday and Josh and I are taking baby boot camp on Tuesday Smile

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oat Banana Chocolate Chip Bread & Pregnancy Update/VLOG- Week 35

First, thank you all so much for the freezer friendly recipes! I got so many great ideas!! Check out the comments on this post if you’re interested.

Such a crazy/busy week (hence the lack of posting)! How has your weekend been treating you? Ours has been nice. Friday night, Josh and I enjoyed dinner and then I helped him tackle a car project. Despite the fact that I went to school for engineering, I’m not INCREDIBLY mechanically inclined, but I still think I was some help. Saturday included Body Step, weeding (ugh!), cleaning, baking & spending time with Josh’s family.  Before they arrived, I baked up this Oat Banana Bread and added chocolate chunks:








This was quickly gobbled up! I love oats in baked goods- they do so much for the texture! At night, we hit up La Pizzeria for some good eats.

Pregnancy Update- Week 35:

Please excuse the outfit Winking smile. I’m not sure this belly can get much larger!! I really am feeling good. Sleeping has been a bit tough, as I’m having more braxton hicks contractions at night.



A big thank you to Ms. Lauren who sent the baby the most ADORABLE outfit (check out the matching hat):




We are getting close! What do you have going on today? I am teaching pump this morning and then we may do brunch. After, we have to drop Josh’s Dad and brother off at the airport. Otherwise? Maybe prepping for the small portion of Body Step I’m teaching at our launch this week!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baked Italian Turkey Meatballs

Wednesday already! I think with the hectic-ness due to my broken computer, this week has just flown by! Anything exciting going on, on your end? Other than the usual work, teaching & working out, I had a hair appointment Tuesday night. Heaven! My last one pre-baby. I also made some pretty delicious, super moist (yes, I hate that word too) meatballs!

Baked Italian Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (panko or regular)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons pasta or tomato sauce

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with aluminum foil, placing a cooling rack on top and spraying the rack with non-stick spray (heavily).

Mix all ingredients (by hand is best!) in a ball until well combined but not over worked. Divide mixture into ~18 meatballs. Place meatballs on cooling rack and baked for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Mix all ingredients (by hand is best!) until well combined but not over worked. Divide mixture into ~18 meatballs. Place meatballs on cooling rack and baked for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve your meatballs however you'd like! They're awesome on top of a salad, a bed of steamed veggies, on top of pasta, or in sandwich form:
As a side note, I've received a couple cute items for the baby from family and friends. Josh's sister Jenny and her boyfriend got the baby an Elon (the school they both went to) t-shirt for a little later on in life. Its totally adorable (the back shows the back side of the mascot):

And Sabrina sent me an awesome set of bibs:

Two more quick items:
  1. Do you guys have any recipes that freeze well? I'm planning on doing a bundle of cooking (pre-baby) to freeze up for after she is born.
  2. The wonderful MizFit is trying to meet Ellen! Check out her post.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Winner & Father's Day in Hilton Head

Hope your week is off to a good start! I taught a pretty kick butt pump class this morning and now I am working away!

Yesterday, we celebrated Father's day with Josh's family in Hilton Head. We caught up a bit before dinner at the house and I hung out with Lady, one of their two adorable dogs.

We enjoyed dinner at Frankie Bones, one of Josh's Dad's favorite spots (mostly due to their chocolate cake dessert):

Since we were a littttle late for our reservation, we had to sit outside. Normally this would be fine, but it actually hit 100 degrees in SC yesterday! Josh's Dad and Josh:

Mike (Josh's sister's boyfriend), helped us all beat the heat by rearranging the outdoor fans:

Josh's brother Justin & his girlfriend:

Josh's Mom, Me & a portion of Jenny:

Jenny & her boyfriend, Mike:Originally, I wanted to get the spaghetti squash dish...but just couldn't think about eating hot food. Instead, I went with a summery salad with strawberries, oranges, walnuts, chicken and a delicious poppy seed dressing:

Despite the heat, we had tons of laughs and a really great meal! Did you do anything special yesterday?

Frankie Bones on Urbanspoon

AND- the winner of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is....Lindsay from the Lean Green Bean!! Lindsay- send your address to itzyskitchen at gmail dot com and I will get your prize out to you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Polenta Pizza & Pregnancy Update/VLOG- Week 34

First- Happy Father's Day!!! Especially to my Dad, Josh's Dad & my DIT. Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Ours has been pretty relaxing and filled with family time! My computer is having MAJOR issues, so I'm blogging from our desktop (which does not have live writer), I hope this post turns out OK!

One quick food note- I always try to make my own polenta at home. Although I have made some awesome dishes with it, it never seems to get firm enough to use as a pizza base. This week, I bought pre-made polenta and made pizzas. I cut the polenta into 1/2" slices and baked them at 450 for 12 minutes. Next, I topped the polenta slices with tomato sauce, spices, cheese and various toppings (shown below is cheese & artichoke and cheese & jalapenos). I baked the slices for ~4 more minutes. The result was a fast, tasty, and EASY dinner!

Pregnancy Update: Week 34 (8 1/2 months):

According to, our baby is ~4.75 lbs this week, the size of a cantaloupe:

Andddd VLOG (please excuse the fuzzy lighting, I will fix this next week!):

Friday, June 17, 2011

D.I.T & Cherry Chocolate Granola bars

Hooray (as usual) for Friday! What are your weekend plans? We are celebrating Father’s Day with Josh’s Dad (we celebrated with my Dad last weekend), otherwise?? Since Josh is a Dad In-Training (DIT), I decided we needed to have a little celebration of our own. On Wednesday night, we went to La Pizzeria to celebrate Josh.


Josh has to dress up for work every day and loves to use collar stays. When I heard about these adorable personalized stays, I knew I had to get them for him. It was so much fun to pick out what to put on them (important dates, locations, sayings, etc):


After he opened his gift, we enjoyed some amazing food. La Pizzeria uses such fresh ingredients. I had a side salad:


And amazing pizza. We ordered their version of a white pizza (with blobs of fresh ricotta…drool).


We got half as specified on the menu and added prosciutto and artichokes to half for the DIT.


May just be the best pizza I’ve ever had.

Since I’m on a baking theme this week, I decided to post about a bar recipe I recently made. As you all know, I love trying new bar recipes! When I saw this one, I knew I had to make it.



The only adjustment I made was to sub in a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds instead of using sliced almonds. The result:


I had a nibble already and these are so tasty! I’m excited to hear what Josh thinks.




Have a wonderful weekend! And don't forget to enter my Reese's giveaway!!