Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cookie Experimenting & Winners

Oh my! Isn’t the week back after a holiday always a tough one? Hope yours is going well! Usual stuff going on around here- teaching at the gym, working, taking care of the peanut & baking! I am hosting a cookie exchange soon and am trying to figure out what I want to make for it? Any ideas??? I want something SIMPLE, but delicious. Hmmm…

I tested out two recipes this week, Diana’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Dough Balls:


And Cate’s Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies:


The results:


Both were good (especially Diana’s- a totally unique flavor!!), but am still on the hunt! Again- ideas welcome!

And the winners of the two giveaways last week…

Chick-fil-A calendar…..Heather!

and the Treats Truck Baking Book…Lindsey Knudson!

Ladies- please send your address to itzyskitchen at gmail dot com and I will get your prizes sent to you!

As a side note, I will be reviewing an item soon from the new Wayfair (formerly CSN stores) website! Wayfair has all sorts of items for your home including kitchen throw rugs. Love this website- we ordered Kaylin’s baby room furniture from there. Check it out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Buy Local & Family Pictures

Hello All! How was the rest of your holiday weekend? Ours was very nice! Lots of family time, a couple of great workouts (taught pump & ran), and more yummy eats!

Before I show you a few of the pictures from our family photo shoot, I wanted to tell you about an awesome card I recently received (disclaimer: I sent Lowcountry Local First a donation, but received this card for free)- the Buy Local Lowcountry Local First card.  According to Lowcountry local first, the card:

“gives people discounts at tons of locally-owned businesses all over town. This card program is designed to be a win for everyone: the local business gets more customers and return business, the customer gets amazing discounts, and our organization receives some of the funding to help recover costs and sustain our program.”

We have SO many amazing local companies and restaurants in the Lowcountry that I was more than excited to support this effort! I’m most excited to use my card at the following businesses:

More info about the card (according to Lowcountry Local):

Where people can get the cards:

  • Buy Local cards are sold in various local businesses around town. Check out our online business directory here. You can filter by Buy Local card sellers and/or Buy Local deals to see where the cards are sold and accepted. The cards cost $20 and the proceeds are split 50/50 between Lowcountry Local First (LLF) and that business. 
  • There are also a few schools in the area selling the cards as a fundraiser. They also split the proceeds with LLF.
  • Or, people can buy the card directly from LLF at the downtown farmers markets on Saturdays or in our Buy Local Mom and Pop-up Shop at 359 King St (until December 15).

Where you can use the card:

  • Check the online business directory (link above). Our members are adding deals each day! Our goal is to get over 200 local businesses offering deals by the end of the year and we are well on our way.

Other goings on:

  • Buy Local month continues until December 15th and people can check out our Buy Local headquarters at 359 King street. We're calling it our Mom and Pop-Up shop :) and have 20 local vendors/businesses set up to sell their goods and spread the word about their shops. We're having many events at the shop throughout the next few weeks - the primary event being the Buy Local Bash on December 1st. You can check out the events here

A few weeks ago, we had our pictures taken by Lee at Crescent Moon Photography. Lee is my neighbor and takes some of the cutest family pictures! I just wanted to share with you a few of my favorites:





We already used them to make our Christmas card! I can’t wait to get them and send them out! Thank you Lee!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day & Eve

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! What was your favorite part? Mine was all of the great family time. I didn’t take too many pictures, but I wanted to share some!

Thanksgiving eve:

I brought Sabra spinach and artichoke hummus (disclaimer: a coupon to purchase the hummus was provided by foodbuzz as a part of the tastemakers program):



I brought veggies and tjs bean chips to enjoy with the hummus. I also threw together a Chobani french onion dip:


My parents made lasagna, chicken, and salad for dinner. I didn’t get any pictures, but it was very tasty!! A few pictures from the night, my cousins and Kaylin:


Kay and my Mom:


My Uncle & Aunt:


My Dad & Kay:


And Thanksgiving Day! I got up, ran, cooked & had coffee. My contribution to the day was two types of bars and a slightly adjusted version of Jessica’s fabulous lighter sweet potato casserole!


I left the skins on my potatoes, eliminated the marshmallow & only used about 1/3 the topping:


It was a hit! Thank you so much Jessica! Few random pictures from the day. Josh and Kaylin in her turkey onesie from Sarah:


Uncle Jer and Kaylin, reading:




Kay & her Dad & Uncles:


Uncle Justin making peanut butter:


I somehow got no pictures of the food- but it was awesome! Josh’s Mom is a fabulous cook!


Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies & Cookbook Giveaway

Its that time of year when you really need a simple, throw together, delicious recipe that can be done in a SNAP. Josh told me that he needed to bring a dish in for his work potluck and I instantly jumped on being in charge of a couple of desserts. I had just received The Treats Truck Baking Book (disclaimer: I received this book to review for free from the publisher) and couldn’t wait to test out one of the recipes:


According to the publisher: “Entrepreneurial baking queen Kim Ima invites you to climb aboard her famous NYC Treats Truck, “Sugar,” for an unforgettable tour of the world of cookies, cakes, pies, and all manner of scrumptious desserts.” Since I had planned on making pumpkin bars too, I figured I could go for something a little less holiday-ish for my second dessert, and decided to make flourless peanut butter cookies:


And then I saw this fun note at the bottom of the page:


I’m in! I made a half batch of the cookies and added chocolate chunks:


Soft and delicious! Definitely make sure you left them cooooool on the cookie sheet before removing….or you’ll have to eat a broken cookie (I some how managed to take that cookie down Winking smile).


All together now!


Yum! Another fun idea suggested by the cookbook is to make the peanut butter cookies into sandwiches:


This cookbook is totally fun! Filled with recipes for cookies (I plan to try the oatmeal jammy next), brownies, bars, etc! I totally want to go to NYC now and try out some of Kim’s treats fresh off the truck.

Want to win a copy of the book for yourself? Simply leave a comment on this post telling me what you usually bring to a potluck. Comments must be received by Sunday, November 27 at midnight. You DO NOT need to have a blog to enter!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chobani Chocolate Chunk Bread & Chick–fil-A Giveaway

mmm… Greek yogurt. Its totally delicious and protein packed- what could be better? Once I get this whole lactose issue figured out…I will find a way to get it BACK in my life!! The other day, I received an awesome package from Chobani. They now have 32 oz containers of their plain Chobani goodness (both 0 and 2% fat!):



I did a little dance when I opened the package (disclaimer: I received these products for free). Another great item in the package? This Chobani conversion magnet that shows how you can healthify your baking and cooking with Chobani.


Since Josh had a “mans day” coming up, I knew I could use the Chobani in a yummy & healthier baked good for the boys to enjoy. I decided to make a chocolate chunk bread based on this cinnamon chip bread recipe.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or half WW half AP)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup Chobani yogurt
  • 1/3 cup egg whites (or two eggs)
  • 1 cup Chocolate chunks or chips


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a loaf pan with Pam.
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, applesauce, butter, chobani and egg whites in large bowl. Beat on medium speed of mixer until well blended. Stir in chocolate chunks
  • Pour into loaf pan and bake for approximately 1 hour (check it as cooking time varies by oven) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Let loaf cool completely before cutting




Yum! Thanks Chobani!

On a side note- do you like Chick-fil-A? I’m not much for fast food, but Chick-fil-A is the exception. They recently added a fun widget to their facebook page. A little about the widget:

“The Cow Watches are coming to Chick-fil-A Kid’s Meals! During the holidays Chick-fil-A Kid’s Meals are featuring the never before seen Cow Watches to reach families with a simple and fun message: In your busy holiday season make sure to stop and take a few moments together as a family to spend quality “time” with one another. The Chick-fil-A Cow Watch widget is available now with fun and enriching activities, worksheets and quizzes so that your family (and readers!) can share in the holiday fun!”

And for more fun- one of you will win a Chick-fil-A calendar filled with awesome coupons (a $30 dollar value- disclaimer: this calendar will be provided for free from Chick-fil-A). Two ways to enter:

1. Check out the widget:


and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

2. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite way to spend quality time with your family over the holidays.

Comments must be received by Wednesday, November 23 at noon. Good luck!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Green Giant Stir Fry

Happy Friday!!! First, excitement in our house- Kaylin slept through night for the first time! It was absolutely wonderful to wakeup after solid sleep!

The rest of my week has been great. I finally got all of the cleaning done, took Body Combat Wednesday, and got in a nice run on Thursday. I also met up with Mandi for Starbucks. Oh, and worked. Today will include teaching Body Pump, running errands, and a date night ALONE with Josh! Whoop, whoop. Whats going on with you?

Recently, I received a coupon to try out a sample of Green Giant vegetables (disclaimer: a stipend was provided for free as a part of the Foodbuzz taste testers program). I choose one of my favorites, sugar snap peas:


I used them in an easy stir fry. First, I browned up a pound of ground turkey. Meanwhile, I cooked the sugar snap peas and a side of corn according to the package directions. I added the vegetables to the ground turkey


and then added my favorite pre-made stir fry sauce (I like to make my own sauce, but this stuff is great in a pinch):


I topped the stir fry with sesame seeds and served it with a side of pineapple. Its also delicious on top of greens:


Thanks Green Giant and Foodbuzz! The snap peas were awesome in this stir fry.

Last, I just wanted to let you all know that I am taking part in the Green Works Community. As a part of the community, I received a number of Green Works products to try (disclaimer: I received these products for free). I used the all purpose cleaner first and loved it. It did a great job cleaning the counter tops in my kitchen and smelled fresh, but not overpowering. I like that, unlike other cleaners, you don’t need to rinse your kitchen counters with water before they come in contact with food.


Do you use green products? I have used a few green cleaning products and love using easy/peasy homemade cleaners as well (i.e. white vinegar).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

PA Food

How is your week treating you so far? Mine has been good, but busy playing catch up! I’ve done wayyyy too much laundry & cleaning, taught Body Pump & Attack, and went to Mellow Mushroom for Trivia night (love!). What about you?

While in PA this past weekend, we had some pretty tasty eats. We didn’t hit up anywhere too fancy, but enjoyed our meals. In my opinion, no trip to PA would be complete without a trip to Wawa.


Yes, it’s a gas station, but they have great coffee and various food items.

We also went to Victory. Josh’s favorite beer is their Hop Devil IPA. I was busy taking care of Kaylin and didn’t get any food pictures (I had soup & salad and Josh had a burger), but the food was just OK. Their pretzel appetizer was very yummy though Smile.



Victory Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Our friends also took us to PJ Whelihan’s, which makes the official wings of the Wing Bowl:


The inside was super open and had TONS of TVs. We walked in just as the Penn State game was starting. Not going to lie….I shed a tear watching the long moment of silence. I won’t go on and on about my thoughts on the situation (I am a PSU alum), but it makes me very sad (both what happened to the victims and what is happening at/to the school).


I did try the wings and they were good! I also had their Greek chicken salad minus the feta.

PJ Whelihan's Pub on Urbanspoon

On Sunday, we spent the day in the city with Josh’s brother. He took us to the Italian market which had an amazing array of meats, seafood, and produce:


We ate brunch at Morning Glory, a tiny diner with fantastic homemade goodies.



I started with coffee with soy milk. I love the containers they serve their coffee in:


We ordered a pumpkin muffin (sampled with their homemade jam):


Raspberry chocolate special waffle and monkey bread French toast:




It was terrible Winking smile:


Morning Glory Diner on Urbanspoon

We walked around more afterwards and stopped at Sarcone’s so that Josh could get a sub for the plane and I could get an amazing barrel pickle:



Sarcone's Deli on Urbanspoon

and went through Redding terminal so that Jer could pick up his weekly produce:



And now its work time! Hope you have a good day.