Friday, March 30, 2012

Breakfast with Chobani & Pizza Dinner

How was your Friday? Mine was a bit crazy, but in a good way! I started off my day by going food shopping with Kay. For the first time, she sat in the cart and did really well. She loved looking at everything:


After, Amy (and her son, Ryan), Brittany, Kay & I met  Lindsay from Chobani at Charleston’s CafĂ© for breakfast. Lindsay is in town for the Bridge Run and Bridge Run expo. It was great to meet her and Brittany for the first time. We chatted about yogurt (duh), the kiddos, life in Charleston & NYC. Such a good time! Oh! And there was coffee and food:


All of us- Kay, me, Lindsay, Amy, Ryan & Brittany (please ignore my slumping down- I’m small, but not that small Winking smile):


After breakfast, Kay and I did a five miler outside and then I did work and housework. Josh got home early and watched Kaylin while I go my toes done. Wonderful.

For dinner, we had Bryan and Mandi over and did make your own pizza (on the grill) and salads. Proteins:


Salad greens:




Fun salad toppers (almonds & pepitas):


Make your own action:


Grill action:


A great, relaxing dinner! What did you do on your Friday?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pioneer Woman’s Meatballs

I cannot tell you how excited I was when Harper Collin’s asked if I would be interested in reviewing Ree Drummond’s (the Pioneer Woman’s) cookbook (disclaimer: I received this cookbook for free)! Not only do I read Ree’s blog, I enjoy watching her on Food Network as well.


I loved flipping through the cookbook! There are so many pictures, stories, suggested variations to recipes, and easy to follow recipes. The first recipe I made from the book was her meatballs from the Rigatoni and Meatballs recipe:


I cut the recipe down a bit and baked my meatballs instead of pan frying them:



I placed them on top of leftover spaghetti squash, but plan to try her rigatoni and sauce recipe soon:


They were out of this world! I cannot wait to make her barbecue chicken and pineapple quesadillas next.

Rigatoni and Meatballs

Makes 6 to 8 servings

I always wanted to be Italian. It never materialized for me, though. Something about the fact that
none of my ancestors were Italian. Details can be so annoying sometimes.

Despite my lack of Italian heritage, however, I have to say that my meatballs ain’t bad at all.
Man loves them, and because long, round noodles (some humans refer to them as “spaghetti”)
are cumbersome and unwieldy, I take the easy road and serve mine with rigatoni.


6 thick slices crusty bread
¾ pound ground beef
¾ pound ground pork
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
¼ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup olive oil

Rigatoni and sauce

1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup red wine (optional)
one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
12 fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (optional)
2 pounds rigatoni, cooked al dente

1. Place the bread on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes in a 200°F oven, or until totally dry.

2. Break the bread into chunks . . .

3. And pulse [in food processor] until the bread turns into crumbs.

4. Throw the meat into a large mixing bowl.

5. Add the garlic, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, grated Parmesan, milk, salt, and pepper. Use clean hands
to mix together until well combined.

6. Use a scoop to retrieve a small amount of the meat mixture . . . And roll it in your hands to make
meatballs (about 25). Place the pan in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, just to firm them up.

7. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Working with 8 to 10 meatballs at a time, cook
them until brown but not cooked all the way through, 2 to 3 minutes per batch.

8. Remove from the pan to a plate while you make the rigatoni and sauce.

10. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook for a minute or two, until the onion begins to soften.
11. Add the wine and cook for another minute. (Just omit this step if you’re not using wine.)

12. Add the crushed tomatoes…whole tomatoes… salt, pepper, and sugar . . . And parsley and basil.

13. Stir the sauce to combine all the ingredients . . . Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30
minutes, stirring occasionally.

14. Then throw in the meat-a-balls!

15. Stir gently, then cover and cook for 20 more minutes, stirring once or twice, until the meatballs are
cooked through.

16. Heap the rigatoni on a large platter and pile the meatballs and sauce on the top. Sprinkle on some
extra minced parsley and serve with extra grated Parmesan.

This is a good one, my friends.
I mean . . . i miei amici.


• Use leftover meatballs to make Meatball Sliders (page 103).
• Slice leftover meatballs and use as a pizza topping.

Do you read Ree’s blog? Any favorite recipes?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekend In Review


How are you and how was your weekend? Mine was just great! I got a ton done (errands and cleaning), ate great food, fit in awesome workouts, and spent lots of time with family and friends. Some of the highlights:

I made these key lime pie bars from two peas and their pod for my Aunt’s birthday. So yummy!


We celebrated my Aunt’s birthday:


Kay got her third tooth!


And ate raspberries and blackberries for the first time:


We went to Vespa with Josh’s parents. They had the MOST amazing Brussels sprouts salad (with walnuts, cheese and a tasty balsamic dressing):


This picture does not do it justice. I could eat this every day:


We also enjoyed their flat bread (un-pictured) and I had their tomato soup:


Vespa Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Like I mentioned before, I fit in a couple great workouts! This included an awesome run outside and a few beautiful walks:


What were the best parts of your weekend?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Turkey Pineapple Jalapeno Meatballs


This recipe has gone through an evolution! A while back, I made these turkey pineapple jalapeno burgers. As a part of the Secret Recipe Club, Megan made them into beef meatballs. I adjusted them again and made them into these turkey pineapple jalapeno meatballs:



  • 1/2 lb ground turkey 
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple 
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Caribbean Citrus seasoning



  1. Mix together all ingredients and form into balls.
  2. Place on foil covered baking sheet (or on top a cookie sheet, sprayed with non stick spray on a baking sheet).
  3. Bake at 400 degrees until cooked through

I served my meatballs on top of brown rice mixed with soy sauce, additional crushed pineapple and chopped & cooked jalapeno:



What are you up to this weekend? Tomorrow, we’re celebrating my FABULOUS Aunt Lori’s birthday. Other than that? I have yard work and a run planned.

Important note: Help fellow blogger Lynn from The Actor’s Diet raise money for her next film The Man’s Guide to Love

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls & Loves


Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a good start. Today, I wanted to share with you some of my recent loves.

1.I have a new favorite cookie recipe, Tina’s chocolate chip cookie dough balls. I recently baked up a batch with one small adjustment, I subbed in 1/4 cup cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the AP flour. The result, chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough balls:




These are fluffy and totally delicious!

2. TJs Healthy 8 Veggie Mix (link is source of picture too):

In a salad or a stir fry, this stuff ROCKS!

3. Kaylin’s new “skill”:


4. Blogger recipes I can’t wait to try:

Heather’s PB Cookie Mini Muffin Bites

Aggie’s Brussels Sprouts Chips

Natalie’s Sesame Soy Spaghetti Squash

What are you loving on this Tuesday?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Diner Breakfast Sunday

First off, the winner of the kitchen scale from SlimKicker is…Lisa! Lisa, please send an email to itzyskitchen at gmail dot com and I will get your scale sent to you!!

How was your weekend? Mine was a little different than planned. I was supposed to fly to Nashville to visit with Josh’s family (the boys were also going to the NCAA games), but Kaylin got sick. So, Kaylin and I stayed home and went for a lot of nice walks/runs and did a little shopping. This morning, we met my parents for breakfast at the Litchfield Restaurant.


The Litchfield restaurant serves up a diner-like breakfast all day long:


I started with coffee:


While Kaylin got love from Pop Pop:


and Ami:


For breakfast I went with the oatmeal (loaded with cinnamon!!):


and eggs:


The restaurant has a very basic menu, but the food is good!

Litchfield Restaurant on Urbanspoon

After, my Mom and I went to Fresh Market to browse.




I ended up getting fruit chips and peaches. I am currently making Kay some peach baby food.


The rest of the day will be spent cleaning, walking & cooking! Josh is finally returning, after being on travel for work/in Nashville. He's been away since Tuesday!! What are you up to?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Slacker & Kitchen Scale Giveaway

I have felt like such a blog slacker this week. Truth be told, I’m still feeling the impact from the stomach bug/flu I had on Saturday/Sunday. Not only that, but Josh picked it up right after me (sharing is caring, right?). So, with illness and additional days I’ve had to work this week, things have been a bit hectic. To make up for it, I want to give you this:


(I stole this picture from Averie Winking smile).

I have a kitchen scale and I really enjoy using it. I use it to measure out all of my dry ingredients when I bake. This helps make sure my baked goods turn out consistently delicious. You can also use the scale to help you with food portioning. So, you want your own? The nice people at SlimKicker want to give one of my readers this awesome scale (disclaimer: the company will be providing this scale for free):


SlimKicker is all about healthy living, and keeping people motivated and accountable towards achieving their health goals. To enter the giveaway, you DO NOT need to have a blog! Simply leave a comment on this post by Friday, March 16 at noon answering this question:

How do you keep yourself motivated to stay fit?

The best comment will be selected!

And, if you’re interested, Start tracking calories and leveling up your body here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A to Z & Winners

How has your weekend been? Mine has been a mixed bag. We had a fabulous dinner out with friends Friday night, got in a great workout and got lots done around the house on Saturday….then got the stomach bug Saturday night. I was up getting sick all night and then couldn’t move for half of today. It feels like I’m turning the corner though. Thank goodness for Josh who took care of the baby and got me pretzels and ginger ale.

On a lighter note:

The winner of the Parents Need to Eat Too cookbook is…Noelle!

The winner of my four year blog birthday baking giveaway is…All Things Yummy!

Congrats ladies! Please email me at itzyskitchen at gmail dot com so I can get your winnings out to you. Look for another giveaway this week.

I saw Janetha post the A to Z survey and thought today would be a great day to fill it out.

A is for age: 29!

B is for breakfast today: haha…ginger ale and a few pretzels. Breakfast of champions.

C is for currently craving: hmm- maybe today wasn’t the perfect day to do this Winking smile. I’ll go with what I’m normally craving- tortilla chips, frozen yogurt:


or pickles:


D is for dinner tonight: Jessica’s buffalo chicken soup (with peas and corn added) for the man…more pretzels/ginger ale for me.  


E is for favorite type of exercise: Group Fitness! Body Attack is my absolute favorite


F is for an irrational fear: sharks?

G is for gross food: Mushrooms. Seriously…ick.

H is for hometown: I’ve moved around a BUNCH, so I don’t really have a hometown. I spent my high school years in a suburb of Boston, so I guess I consider that my hometown. Now, I live in the lovely Charleston, SC area. I absolutely love it

bridge 003[4]

I is for something important: My family and friends!!! I couldn’t be without them.

J is for current favorite jam: I know this is favorite song, but my mind instantly goes to jams/jellies haha. I guess Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. I can totally see it as a Body Step song.

K is for kids: Two- Kaylin:


& Frank:

frank 003[3]

L is for current location: My house, parked on the couch

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Coffee


N is for something you need:  A nap

O is for occupation: Cost analyst/engineer/group fitness instructor/Mom & Wife

P is for pet peeve: When people are negative about EVERYTHING

Q is for a quote:  You can do anything, but you can’t do everything (note to self…)

R is for random fact about you: I can’t throw at all. You should never ask me to toss you something.

S is for favorite healthy snack: Apple with peanut butter or carrots with mustard

T is for favorite treat: See cravings

U is for something that makes you unique: Kind of an odd question…I think my desire to make those I really care about happy 

V is for favorite vegetable: Brussels Sprouts (carrots are a close second)

W is for today’s workout: hahahhaha….getting sick all night long Winking smile

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, hand

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: An awesome run outside with Kaylin

Z is for your time zone:  Eastern

Now your turn- pick a letter!