Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Dinner

We had a fantastic Christmas! The incredible family time and delicious food made the day.

For our meal, I made salad:


Roasted Brussels (roasted them at 425 until browned, tossed in soy and the juice from 1 orange, and cooked for 5 more minutes):


My Dad prepared the beef:


I made Jessica’s delicious lighter sweet potato casserole (without the marshmallows):


Pear and apple crisp (lighter):


nutella chocolate chip cookies:


and my Mom made her famous cranberry sauce. So good!

Kay got a ton of amazing gifts:





We were so fortunate that we got to spend the evening with both of our parents and Josh’s sister Jenny:




Today was semi-back to the grind. I did a long run, worked a bit and ran to the food store. Now, Josh and I are going out for a little date night. What was your Christmas day/Wednesday like?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

I hope everyone is doing well. I cannot believe Christmas is next week! I’m super excited for Christmas this year because its the first year that Kaylin “gets” the whole Santa thing (well, sort of).  Speaking of Kaylin, she had a few fun park play dates this week. The first was with her friend Lila (Happy Birthday Lila!!!):



They’re totally bffs.

The second was with her friends Ryan and Liam. It is over 70 degrees in Charleston today. The perfect day for a park date (notice the photo bomber in the background):



Although this week has been filled with fun play dates, great runs & classes at the gym….something sort of scary happened last night. On the way to the food store, my car got rear ended. The driver of the other car was playing with his phone. Just a reminder to all of us to PUT the phones away when you drive. I’m guilty of looking down at my every now and again….but from now on- I plan to put it in the back seat.


And now, for a yummy recipe. I recently made the Brown Eyed Baker’s nutella hazelnut cookies. I decided to forgo the extra powdered sugar and nuts and added chocolate chips (I also made a batch with no nuts and just chocolate chips). Here is my slightly modified version.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups Nutella
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cups hazelnuts, chopped
  • Desired quantity chocolate chips or chunks

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the Nutella, butter, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder and mix until incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and alternate additions of flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour, and mixing until just combined after each addition. Fold in the hazelnuts. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a cookie dough scoop or two spoons to place even balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Use a fork to lightly flatten the dough. Bake for 10-11 minutes until the edges are set and the middle still looks a tad soft. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a cooling rack.




What are you all doing for Christmas (if you celebrate)? We are having both of our parents and Josh’s sister over. I can’t wait!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


How are you? Happy Sunday! Its been a pretty good weekend around here. Friday night, we hung in. I made breakfast for dinner and we just relaxed. Kaylin and I have been fighting a cold/cough all week and were happy to just relax:


Saturday morning, I taught Step,did a few things around the house, and then made Jenna’s beef enchiladas for later in the week:


Saturday night, Josh and I headed to an Ugly Sweater pub crawl:


Before the crawl, we tried Scratch, a new-ish restaurant in Mount Pleasant. We just had a few light items (as it had been a snacky day):


We got the trio of dips. The salsa and guacamole were good, but nothing that blew us out of the water. Josh said the cheese dip was about the same (I’m still avoiding milk products until I get allergy tested in January):


I had the house salad with shrimp. The shrimp were done well, and the dressing was very good.


Josh also had their potato, corn and chorizo soup. Overall, we thought the meal was fine…but not memorable.

Sunday morning, we had our annual Christmas brunch with a few friends. We tried Southerly, a restaurant attached to a new specialty food store and cooking school.

 photo 1

We started with coffee, which was very good. They offered soy milk- hooray!

 photo 2

Josh had the French toast (French toast will forever remind me of the forty year old virgin…anyone else?):

 photo 3

Kay had “cakes” (but was more interested in eating my soup):

 photo 4

and I had beef soup (which was amazing):

 photo 5

We will definitely be back!!

I’m taking Kay back to the doctor this afternoon (bahhh to fevers) and then teaching pump. What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Pictures

A few people had requested to see more of our Christmas card pictures, but I wanted to wait until our cards had been in the mail for a while. Below are a chunk of the photos Josh’s awesome sister took of us. Some made the card, some didn’t- but I really like them all!








Post photo shoot fuel:


And a golf cart ride with Mimi:


Love SC:


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kiddo Fun

Its been a weekend full of kiddo fun! On Friday, Kaylin and I met some of her/my friends for a puppet show. The kids had a blast:



Friday night, Josh and I enjoyed a date night. We went out to dinner and then went Christmas shopping for Kay:


Saturday morning, I taught Step and then got to work cooking and cleaning up the house. Saturday night, we had a dinner party at my friend Marissa’s house. I brought roasted vegetables (Brussels, butternut squash and potatoes):


buffalo chicken and unpictured cookies:


My friends Marissa and Trish supplied the other sides and more desserts. The kids had lots of fun playing. Kaylin loves her friend Lila:


Today has been an easy/slow day. We headed off to the Charleston animal society to make our yearly donation of towels/sheets and money:



I wanted to take this doggy home, she was so sweet:




Well, I’m off to wrap presents and then am headed to the gym to teach Pump. What have you been up to?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cashew Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Phew!  The holidays are a blast. I really enjoy spending time with our friends and family, but I am exhausted! This past week, I worked, taught a ton at the gym (lucky for me I have an amazing assistant):



and logged tons of quality time with both friends and family. I also had a nasty allergic reaction to something. After I finished the Whole30, I started in on a few treats that involved foods I hadn’t touched in the past 30 days. Soon after, I started to itch and it got worse and worse, and I was covered in hives. I got going on a large dose of steroids and am finally feeling better.  I’m not 100% sure where the hives came from, but some signs are pointing towards milk. My MD gave me an epipen to be on the safe side.

For some reason, I didn’t take a lot of pictures over Thanksgiving. Here is one of my favorites from our pre-Christmas gift exchange last night:


A big thank you to Josh’s parents for having us over for the Thanksgiving holiday. We always enjoy our time with you!!

I finally got around to trying out Trader Joe’s new Just Cashew Meal:


I made paleo friendly cookies that turned out pretty darn well!




  • 3 cups Cashew Meal
  • 1/2 cup diced nuts (whatever you have on hand or you can leave out)
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Desired quantity chocolate chips or chunks


  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup (could use honey)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry in another. Stir together until combined. Use a cookie dough scoop or rounded tablespoon to place dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Flatten out dough. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cookies cool for ~5 minutes before removing from parchment and placing on cooling rack.

These really turned out yummy! Let me know if you give them a go.

As for today, I taught at the gym, ran errands, and then we got our Christmas tree!!


Tonight, we’re off to my Aunt/Uncle’s house to watch the USC/Clemson game.

What have you been up to?