Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So far…

I haven’t cooked or baked anything new/exciting yet this week, so I figured I would just share what I’ve been up to…

I’ve fit in two great runs and took Body Pump from the wonderful lady who has been subbing my 545 AM class. I am ready to start teaching again! Whoop!


While I took pump, Frank and Kaylin slept on Josh. Not sue why we have a King sized bed when we only use 1/3 of it Winking smile


I don’t like to eat out toooo much, but I enjoyed a great meal out with Josh, Amelia and her husband. I also hit up brunch with Mandi at one of my favorite spots. I tried their iced coffee for the first time=so good!


I also got some awesome early birthday gifts including a Starbucks card from Amelia (hello pumpkin spice goodness!!), lots of fun goodies from Mandi & Bryan (including Savannah Bee Company honey and an adorable cutting board), and a gift certificate to get my hair done from my parents!



I also spent (obviously) almost all my time with my little lady. She has been rocking tummy time:


and I got tons of housework done! Frank hates when I wash the sheets:


Walk time for Frank. What have you been up to?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bars, Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs & Winners

First off, thank you all for your sweet words on my post yesterday! I was in no way fishing for compliments, just trying to be honest! BUT, I more than appreciated all of the comments!!

As I mentioned yesterday, we went to a wine party on Saturday night. I baked up two batches of bars and mozzarella stuffed turkey meatballs.

First up, I made Katie’s amazing vegan pumpkin chocolate chunk bars:


Next, I made Jessica’s oatmeal peanut butter snack bars. I used unsalted almond butter instead of peanut butter and also used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. These bars were just slightly sweet and oh so good!




All together now:


I also used my baked Italian turkey meatball recipe, and stuffed the balls with mozzarella prior to baking. The outcome:



I popped these bad boys into the crock pot with some marinara sauce. They were a big hit!

And last, but not least, the winners of the Activia giveaway are…..

Christina, Debbie, Stephanie, Julie & Amy!

Congrats!! If you won, you should have received an email from me. Please send your address to itzyskitchen at gmail dot com!

Any exciting plans this week? Friday is my birthday!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend & Post Pregnancy Update (Week 4)

How was your weekend? Ours has been busy (in a good way!). Friday, I took my first post baby Body Pump class (whooop!), baked & ran errands. Friday night we hit up dinner with Mandi & Bryan:


and Josh’s parents:



Saturday was more errands and lots of baby time! We took Kaylin over to Josh’s parents to “swim” for the first time. They have a salt water pool and the pediatrician said it was more than ok to put her in it! Hooded towel:


With Daddy:


Close up:


With Mimi:


Letting her toes hang loose:


She actually loved the water- I was shocked! Saturday night, we went to a wine tasting party. I made two different kinds of bars and mozzarella stuffed turkey meatballs for the party (info to come tomorrow).

This morning, I went for a run and now we’re off to brunch with friends!

Post Pregnancy Update (almost 4 weeks post partum):



Still feeling stronger each day! I have hit a bit of a weight loss “wall” and I know now will be the time I will have to put more effort into getting those baby pounds off. I wore a bikini for the first time on Saturday and freaked out a bit when I saw the pictures. I know patience is the key and that it took 10 months to put all this on….but its hard to not let it get to you! Josh has been amazingly supportive through my freak out moments Winking smile

Kaylin is still doing great! Sleeping like a champ and doing wonderful in social situations. We are so blessed!

What are you up to today? I hope everyone has stayed safe through these crazy storms!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Italian Chicken & Bird’s Eye Vegetable Risotto

Happy Friday! I can’t believe how quickly this month is flying by! I also cannot believe my birthday is in a week!

I was excited when my package of Bird’s Eye Chef Favorites (disclaimer: I received these products for free as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program)! I knew I could use these to make some quick and easy dinners. On Wednesday night, I decided to try out the Primavera Vegetable Risotto:


To make it a meal, I cooked up some “Italian” chicken breasts. I simply ground garlic & herb seasoning on top of chicken breasts and then topped them with a little cheese.


I baked the chicken up in the oven at 375 degrees F until cooked through. I cooked the risotto according to the package directions and then added the chicken. The result:



Josh and I both loved the creaminess of the risotto, we only wished there was more of it!. Thanks FoodBuzz & Bird’s Eye!

What are you up to this weekend? We have dinner plans tonight & have a wine and appetizer party on Saturday night. I’m hoping to get a run in today and maybe a class tomorrow??

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baked Falafel & Food Network Star Insider’s Guide

I love the show The Next Food Network Star! Have you watched it? I cheered on Melissa last season and was hoping Susie would win this year (although Jeff was another favorite of mine). When I was contacted by Harper Collins Publisher to review a copy of the Food Network Star’s Official Insider’s Guide to America’s Hottest Food Show, I was very excited (disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free)! According to the publisher, the book contains:


“the behind-the-scenes stories from members of the selection committee such as Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, and other Food Network personalities such as Alton Brown, Paula Deen and Rachael Ray. Catch up with your favorite contestants and see where they are now in insightful Q&A’s. And did I mention the recipes? There are recipes from every season of Food Network Star (including season 7 which is still on air) and these winning gems are sure to delight a wide variety of palettes.”

I loved reading the interviews with the contestants and enjoyed exploring the different recipes they made on the show. As I flipped through the pages, I knew the first recipe I wanted to make was a falafel recipe from Whitney Chen, another one of my favorites from this season.



I made a few alterations to the recipe (based on what I had on hand) and baked it at 375 (instead of frying it).



The outcome (served with corn on the cob and fruit+ dessert for J):





So tasty! If you’re interested in my adjusted recipe- let me know!!

Don’t forget to enter my Activia giveaway! You have until midnight tonight.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crockpot BBQ Beef

I feel so reenergized after this weekend! I got in a little extra sleep (thank you peanut!), got in two great runs (and Josh got in extra with with Kaylin), ate some tasty meals & cooked!

Sunday night was man’s night in our house (aka the night Josh has the guys over). I had seen Renee make crockpot bbq beef and knew it would be a perfect meal for man’s night. I altered the spices a bit, but followed her directions otherwise. I think my crockpot must be a super crockpot, because after 6 hours, my 3 lb chuck roast was probably a little over done. I cut it up (rather than pulled it apart) and added in the sauce. Luckily, the guys liked it just fine! I put it on top of baked potatoes with cheddar and served fruit on the side.




Thanks for a great recipe Renee! Next time, I will have to take a little cooking time off Winking smile.

Since I’m not a beef fan, I had some of my 17 North leftover pasta and a big salad. Delicious!

Ready for the week?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend & Post Pregnancy Update

How has your weekend been so far? Ours has been great- very relaxing!

Friday night was date night in with Josh, Kaylin & Frank. I made pizza (olive oil & garlic base topped with artichokes & fresh mozzarella, and peperoni on Josh’s portion) & his and hers salads:




Saturday included cleaning, errands and a six mile run!!


Saturday night, my sweet parents treated us to dinner at 17 North:


They give you cheddar biscuits to start (amazing):



Josh got the 17 North pasta with chicken without tomatoes(Chicken,, linguine, local asparagus, spinach, basil, pesto cream sauce):


I got the pasta special with onions, peppers & chicken. This was massive and I only could take down about 1/4 of the pasta! But yay for leftovers!


A great meal!

17 North Roadside Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Post Pregnancy Update:

18 days post partum-



Still feeling better every day! Running is definitely challenging, but I am feeling stronger!

Kaylin is still a good sleeper and is generally pleasant. We had one rough day this week when she wouldn’t stop crying unless I held her. Timing is everything with a baby. As long as she has just finished eating & has gone to the bathroom, she is great running errands. Another wonderful trick- the Carlos (aka my baby bjorn). She loves this thing. This week, I dusted with her:



She had a checkup this week and did great! She gained a pound (since her post delivery weight loss) and now weighs 7 lbs 3 ounces!


What are you up to today?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Trader Joe’s Crab Cakes & Activia Giveaway

Happy Friday to all! How was your week? Mine was pretty good! Still trying to get used to balancing taking care of Kaylin, Frank, the house, cooking, etc. Most days have been great, a few have been challenging. The highlight of my week so far was breakfast with Amelia yesterday.  We ate at Sea Biscuit where I had my first post pregnancy runny egg (YUM!).  Amelia also brought me some delicious banana bread (thank you!!).

I still have been easing my way back into cooking (hence the lack of recipe posts- more next week, I promise!)  and have been enjoying easy cheats whenever possible. One of my most favorite recent cheats was Trader Joes Maryland Style Crab Cakes.


I bought these the day TJs opened and have been eager to try them. They cook up in about 4 minutes in a hot pan. Served with rice, fruit and a piece of Amelia’s banana bread:



Verdict? Super fishy…. I think this is the first TJs product I didn’t like!!

A while back I told you that I was participating in the Activia 2-week challenge.  According to the Activia website:

“We make this delicious Activia low-fat yogurt with wholesome, organic ingredients and live active cultures, including Bifidus Regularis®. Activia helps regulate your digestive system when eaten daily for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.”


As someone who has struggled with “tummy issues” in the past, I definitely found that Activia helped keep me more regular! Want to try the challenge for yourself? 5 readers will win a set of coupons good for 2 weeks worth of Organic Activia yogurt. You DO NOT need to have a blog to enter! Leave a comment on this  post by Wednesday, August 24, telling me how you would incorporate Activia into your daily eats (in your breakfast bowl? as a side at lunch?). 5 winners will be randomly chosen!