Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Pictures & Campbell’s Soup

Long time, no blog! The holiday fun has continued this week, as our relatives are still in town. We’ve been going out to eat (at family members houses or restaurants) nearly every night. This has resulted in very little cooking and only some baking. Regular activities to begin again soon!!

In the meantime, I wanted to share my review of one of the Campbell’s Healthy Request soups I tried recently (disclaimer: I received this soup for free). I am a HUGE soup fan and usually like to experiment with recipes of my own. When I’m short on time, I do like to reach for canned or boxed soups.


The first soup of the bunch I tried was the Southwest Style potato, cheese & green chilies:


The photo below doesn’t really do the soup justice, it was pretty darn tasty. I do wish there were more vegetables (I may doctor it up next time), but the flavor of the soup itself was very good.


I also wanted to share some random Christmas pictures with you. I was so engrossed in the Christmas action that I didn’t take many pictures. Kaylin in her new jumper:


Frank getting presents:


Kaylin on her play mat (she's obsessed):


Kay & Aunt Jenny:


Kay & Dad (she has a thing for grabbing lips right now):


Present opening:


Pop Pop & Kay:


I feel like Christmas has a whole new meaning once you have a peanut! What has been the best part of your holiday celebrations?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nutella Balls

Merry, merry Christmas! I hope you have an absolutely fabulous day! We celebrated with Josh’s family yesterday and will celebrate with my family today. Kaylin is getting VERY spoiled Winking smile

I wanted to share a quick, last minute cookie recipe with you! These cookies have that great nutella flavor without being overly sweet!!



  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup nutella
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup WW flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Desired quantity chocolate chips or chunks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Beat together butter, nutella & sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.

Mix together dry and wet until just combined and stir in chocolate chunks or chips.

Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon and drop dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Makes ~ 22 balls IMG_3214IMG_3215

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chick-fil-A Prize Pack Giveaway!!

Hi All! I apologize for the lack of exciting posts this week. Like all of you, I have been cooking & baking away…but I’ve mostly been making old favorites (nothing new and exciting). SO, instead of sharing a recipe, I wanted to do a fun giveaway. I had posted about the fun Chick-fil-A widget once before, and I wanted to give you a second chance to win a Chick-fil-A prize pack (disclaimer: Chick-fil-A will be providing this prize to the winner for free). Whats in the prize pack?

  • Five Cow Watches!
  • Two Chick-fil-A Plush Cows! 
  • A Free Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake Coupon with specialty Christmas ornament!

To enter, simply check out the widget:


Then, either

1. Leave me a comment telling me what you’re doing for the holidays


2. Take the holiday chick-fil-a quiz and share your results in the comments

You can also do both! Make sure you leave separate comments for each entry. You DO NOT need to have a blog to enter! The contest is open until Saturday, December 24 at noon.

Enjoy your day!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies & Chobani Winner

Did y’all have a good weekend? Ours was really nice. Friday- date night out with Kaylin (dinner and DVR catch up), Saturday-hair appointment, girl time, and College of Charleston basketball game! Josh and his Dad have season tickets, so we nabbed a couple more and Josh’s Mom, brother, Kaylin & I went as well:




Kaylin did awesome at the game, despite the noise. Sunday- walk with Kaylin:


outdoor run, baking, football! We did grilled pizzas and salad for football Sunday- delicious!

A while back I made these malted chocolate chip cookies. I decided to play around with the recipe a bit and make an extra chocolaty version.


  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup malted milk powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the butter, oil and sugars together until fluffy and creamy. Stir in the malted milk powder and eggs. Add the vanilla, baking soda and salt, mixing until blended.

Slowly mix in the flour, beating until the dough is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.


Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and space 1 1/2-2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes.



And the winner of the Chobani giveaway is…Vanessa! Vanessa- please send your address to itzyskitchen at gmail dot com and I will get your prize out to you!

Enjoy your Monday!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Light Broccoli Soup

Happy Friday!!!!!!!!! Weekend plans? Things are looking pretty low key around here. Date night Friday, hair appointment Saturday, couple workouts, otherwise?

Due to some major changes going on with the Secret Recipe Club, there will be no posting in January. This decision was made after group A (the group I’m in) received their assignments. I already had my mind set on making Susie’s easy and light broccoli soup. I decided to go ahead and make the soup anyways with just a few adjustments.


  • 1 bag of fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 TBSP low fat milk or almond milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Optional: Shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese


Saute onion, garlic, and thyme in olive oil over medium heat for ~7 minutes.

Add in broth, red pepper, and broccoli florets and simmer for 15 minutes covered until broccoli is nice and soft.

Remove from heat and cool briefly then either puree with an emulsion blender or pour into food processor or blender and puree.

Stir in milk and desired amount of mozzarella cheese.

Enjoy!  I made this soup earlier in the day and then reheated it at dinner time. I added chickpeas (not shown) and I think cooked ground turkey or chicken would make an awesome addition too:


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sun Butter Kisses & Chobani Giveaway

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a chunk of leftovers from this past weekends cookie exchange. One of those leftovers was a previously un-shown container of Hershey kisses:


I had planned to make cookies this week to include in the packages of gifts I’m giving to Kaylin’s teachers at daycare. Once I saw the leftover kisses, I instantly thought peanut butter blossoms! And then I remembered the no nut rule at daycare. I adapted this recipe and made sun butter kisses instead:



  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sun butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups AP Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Additional granulated sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Hershey Kisses


Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.


Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Let cookies sit one additional minute on the cookie sheet and then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Allow cookies to cool COMPLETELY before packaging.



Makes ~ 28 cookies.

And now, for a fun giveaway! As you know, I love Chobani Greek yogurt. I recently received their new 32-ounce containers and used them in a batch of chocolate chunk bread and as a sour cream replacement in dip.  Now YOU can receive two 32-ounce containers of Chobani!! This giveaway is open to all readers in the US and Canada. You DO NOT have to have a blog to enter. To enter, leave a comment below by Sunday, December 18 at noon, telling me one recipe on the Chobani Kitchen website you’d like to try. (Disclaimer: I received my Chobani for free and you will receive YOUR Chobani, if you win, for free)


Winners will be randomly chosen- good luck!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cookie Exchange

Hi guys! Sorry I disappeared at the end of last week. Josh had been on travel all week, so I was playing single mama (props to all the single moms out there- boy is it tough work) and I was getting ready for my cookie exchange. Anyone else have trouble guessing how much food to make for parties? I always over do it and was trying to really be right on this time. For the twenty ladies and few peanuts we had over, I put out crackers and cheese (no picture), meatballs:


Hummus & Veggies:


Chips & Salsa


Chocolate mint M&M & sun butter cookies, pumpkin bars and TJs eggnog covered almonds:


Fruit & fruit dip


and tortilla rollups (tortillas topped with whipped light cream cheese, turkey, spinach & light mozzarella cheese (no pick):


In the end, I had too much food Smile. But, I did better than I usually do!

For the exchange, I made sun butter cookies (Jenna’s from Eat Live Run!) with red & green chocolate covered sunflower seeds:IMG_3162

My final plate (I some how missed a few of the cookies on here):


We had a blast! A big thank you to my Mom who helped with prep, clean up, and taking care of Kaylin during the party!! And Josh for keeping Frank busy & helping with clean up. AND my Aunt for helping with clean up. Y’all are amazing!

What do you have on tap this coming week? Usual over here! Work/teaching at the gym/Kaylin/Josh/Frank!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chickpea and Turkey Meatballs

I had one of those nights where I just DIDN’T know what to make for dinner. As I was doing some blog reading, I came across Teresa’s recipe for Turkey Chickpea Burgers and knew I’d hit the jackpot! I adjusted her recipe a bit and made meatballs instead:


  • 15-oz can low sodium chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, Worcestershire, onion, cumin and water and pulse until smooth.

In a bowl, combine chickpea mixture, turkey & panko. Form into meatballs a little smaller than a golf ball (I got approximately 16 meat/bean balls). Place a cookie cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and spray with pam (see picture here). Bake for ~20 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with vegetables or pasta and sauce.



AND…I finally got the Christmas tree decorated. Notice the tilt to the right…I kind of love that its totally not perfect Smile:


Monday, December 5, 2011

Matzo Balls & Christmas Fun

How was your weekend? Ours was was really wonderful, but so busy! Friday night, we did a family & friends dinner at Josh’s parents house. His Mom put out a great spread of salad, shrimp & meatballs. Delicious!

Saturday, we had a group fitness member appreciation event at the gym and then I ran lots of errands. When I got back, I got dressed up for a party at our group fitness managers house.  I brought a simple appetizer and some cookies (unpictured):



My group fitness manager & I wore the same skirt in different colors, so we had to get a picture or two Winking smile



It was a silly and awesome time.

Sunday, we went and got our Christmas tree! It was exciting to take Kay for the first time (even though she won’t remember it one bit Winking smile).



The rest of the day was spent on stuff around the house and changing up my choreography for classes this week.

For dinner, I made matzo ball soup! Its Secret Recipe Club time!! As a part of the club, each month you’re assigned another Secret Recipe Club blogger to make a recipe from. If you want to join, click here to sign up.

This month, I was assigned Gluten Free Judee. Judee is (obviously), GF, but she is also a vegetarian! She had a lot of fun recipes (I plan to make her crockpot falafel next), but I ended up going for her matzo balls. Instead of using GF breadcrumbs, I used panko. The result was yummy, but next time I want to add a little something something (spice) to it.


  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 t salt


In a small bowl beat eggs and oil and set aside
In a separate bowl mix bread crumbs and salt.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and blend well with fork.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes ( this step is important)

Remove batter from refrigerator. Divide batter into just slightly smaller than golf ball size balls- I used my cookie scoop to make the balls (should make about 8-10) .

Put up an 8qt pot of water and bring it to a boil with a little salt if you like. When water comes to a boil, drop in balls one at a time into the boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes.

I also made a throw together soup of vegetables, ground chicken, broth, tomato sauce & spices.  The steps & results:






Thanks Judee!