Best 2 days ever.

My lack of posting might have had something to do with:

Cuddling

Lots of cuddling and no makeup faces

Cookie Making

Lemon Cake Cookies

Lemon Icing and White Chocolate dipped

 

Loving the cookie decorating

Coffee Making

Loving his christmas present!!!

Deep Frying

ONE Yam cut into fries

First attempt

Wooo!

My crazy idea to make Buttermilk Donuts (Jack's fav and I got 2 thumbs up!)

*****

With all this we both managed to fit in a 4 mile run yesterday.  Jack outside (Brrr) and me on the treadmill.  We watched trashy tv, cooked insane amounts of food (Ribs weren’t shown, but they were AWESOME), and most importantly RELAXED.  It was the best two days ever.

Now I’m off to a leadership retreat tomorrow through Sunday.  And I go back to school on Sunday.  So these last 2 days were the end of my winter break and I couldn’t imagine having spent them a better way.

xoxo,

Rachel

Meatballs!

Tonight I realized that I couldn’t make tamales do the lack of corn husks.  So what is a girl to do?

Make MEATBALLS!  I have this weird really intense love for meatballs….don’t judge.

My Favorite way to enjoy meatballs!

I used the gluten free homemakers recipe to a tee other than subbing in ground turkey instead of beef.  Thanks for the great recipe GF Homemaker! For my gluten free gravy I used this recipe:

  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions; cook and stir until tender. Add beef broth; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine water and cornstarch in a small cup; stir into broth. Cook and stir for 1 minute, or until thickened.

I didn’t have fresh mushrooms on hand so I used a small can.  It turned out really well. I was so excited to find a good gluten free gravy recipe!

*****

Backtracking to breakfast, I made a protein pancake with blueberries.  It kind of fell apart and looked gross, but it was delish I swear!  I did add a little something special to it homemade greek yogurt!

 

Plain and Vanilla Greek Yogurt!

Making “greek” yogurt is SO simple and SO much cheaper than buying a whole tub.  Before bed last night I took two strainers, lined them with coffee filters, and filled them with Trader Joes Plain European Style yogurt and 365 organic vanilla yogurt.  Put the strainer on a bowl where there is room for the liquid to collect.  In one night you wake up to delicious, thick greek yogurt!  Try it!  I can bet you’ll like it!

For lunch I had leftover lentil soup with a few brussel sprouts.

 

Noms

*****

After I digested my meal I hit the treadmill in my basement!  I did 5 miles in 44 minutes.  After my run I found a yogalaties video on Demand and did 30 minutes.  It felt so great to workout after a couple of days of being a complete couch potato!

Now I’m relaxing with mom and princess.  Looking forward to a night of HGTV!

Also this guy is coming tomorrow to stay for 2 nights! woohoo!

🙂

Stay tuned for my culinary adventures with Jack!  He is obsessed with me cooking for him.

xoxo,

Rachel

 

Snacky Snacks

To start, I had a blast last night at my friend’s birthday party!

This picture sums up the night 🙂

 

Anddd the results are in on the banana cream cheesecake…..she LOVED it!  She had a bit of a freakout over it actually!  I had a couple bites and I have to agree, delicious!

 

!!!

I added spray whip cream in between the banana slices and it looked so pretty!  No picture 😦

*****

In general I am much more of a snacker than a 3 meals a day kind of girl.  I also don’t snack with big things.  I put everything in extremely small bowls.  Today I have been snacking ALL day.  I blame it on my slight hangover and lack of sleep.  I’ve had small bites of the following:

  • Mcdonalds oatmeal w/o brown sugar or the dried fruit and apples
  • Roasted chicken and potatoes
  • 2 tiny bowls of cereal
  • 1 failed attempt of a spring roll (inspired by love veggies and yoga)
  • a small salad of spinach carrots and tuna
  • And now I think I’ve finally satisfied myself with a REALLY fluffy green monster.  Too much xanthan gum whoops!
  • thick and airy

I was also in the cooking mood all day.

I made pumpkin bread in loaf and muffin form.  I used a simple Libby’s pumpkin bread kit, because my  mom wanted to get rid of it. The only change was instead of using oil I used applesauce.  They look and smelled delicious and it was confirmed by my mom that they were!  I need to make a gluten free version STAT!

I did do a little gluten free cooking though!

Gluten Free Chex mix!  I used the standard chex mix recipe but with gluten free ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Corn chex
  • 4 cups Rice chex
  • 1 cup of peanuts
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp season salt
  • 2 tsp worsterchier sauce
  • Sprayed with pam or any cooking spray

Bake for an hour at 250 and shake to mix every 20 mins.

Now I’m relaxing with the family and watching the packer game!  Go PACK!  I’m also sipping this delicious teavana white and samurai chai tea my mom picked up on vacation.

And snuggled up next to me is my Princess!

Dirty, but cute!

I’m planning to make tamales tomorrow to use up the roasted chicken!  See you with the results!

xoxo,

Rachel

Banana Cream Cheesecake and Mini Gluten Free Cupcakes, Oh My!

This morning has been spent doing one of my favorite things….BAKING!  My beautiful best friend came over last night so I wasn’t able to make her surprise cheesecake until this morning.

I fit in a short arm and ab workout before heading to the store to get my ingredients for Banana Cream Cheesecake.

 

The Goods

Last night I was thinking of making a plain cheesecake, but I wasn’t sure if that was what Kristy would want.  So I asked her what her favorite dessert was and she kept going in between cheesecake and banana cream pie.  And then banana cream cheesecake was born.

I followed this Banana Cream Cheesecake recipe exactly, but I’m adding vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and bananas to make it beautiful!  I’ll post a picture of the finished product tomorrow!

I also made a box of Betty Crocker gluten-free Devils Food cake into mini chocolate surprise cupcakes.

 

Little Babycakes

I added 3 eggs, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce to the cake mix.  I poured half the cupcake tray with the cake mixture and then a small dollop of:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 of 1 egg
  • a couple of packets of stevia
  • chopped chocolate

Then I covered the cream cheese mixture with the rest of the cake batter.  I give you gluten-free chocolate surprise mini cupcakes!

Worst picture ever but you can see the inside!

 

 

Happy Birthday Kristy!!! You are the best!!

 

Birthday Girl!

See you all tomorrow with an update of Kristy’s birthday and the picture of the cheesecake!!!

xoxo,

Rachel

Lentil soup, my love

My day started out with a weird stomach.  So I had small snacks throughout the day that weren’t eventful enough for me to take pictures of.

After my 4.5 mile run on the treadmill (while watching Dexter, the best!), I finally felt hunger and there was only one thing I wanted….SOUP!

 

I have craved lentil soup for months and today I made it for the first time. It was also my first time making any type of soup for that matter.  And it was SO good!

The loot

I used this recipe because 767 reviews means its GOOD.

Start by chopping your veggies and adding them to 1/4 of a cup olive oil.

The Base of the soup

 

Let the onion and veggies soften before adding more ingredients

Add the remaining spices.

 

Garlic, Bay Leaves, Oregano, and Basil

The soup with lentils, water, and crushed tomatoes

Let simmer for an hour.

 

The finished product

And viola delicousness!  Seriously the best.  The only alteration to the original recipe was that I blended half of it to thicken it up and added potatoes.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

Now I’m off to make a cheesecake for my best friends birthday!  I’ll be back with the results in the morning!

xoxo,

Rachel

The “Flat Tire” of Bel-Air

Ahhh the last 2 days have been CRAZY.  But I am happy to report I am home in Wisconsin and finally have an internet connection!

My trip from the Desert to LA started with a soy misto!

The start of my drive

The amazing view from Pepperdine

Reunited after 2 weeks!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a pretty laid back night waiting for the boys to get to LA.  They had In and Out Burger for dinner and I had McDonalds oatmeal (which is seriously so good).

The fun started the next day when we looked at Pepperdine and UCLA.  I hit a GIANT(literally 2’X2′) pothole on Sunset Blvd.  And boom a flat tire in Bel Air.  It was 4 hours of contacting AAA, getting new tires and then driving back to the desert in RUSH HOUR in LA!  But, it’s all over and I’m happy to report I stayed pretty calm because of all of you bloggers who put patience on your goals for 2011.  I decided that would be a good goal for me as well and it has already paid off!

My meals the last 3 days consisted of McDonalds, Taco Bell, and take out Chinese.  That is the reason for the lack of pictures, but now that I’m home I get to start making my own food!  Stay tuned for pictures!

My google reader has 127 new posts under the category of Foodies, so I better get crackin!

xoxo,

Rachel

My girl Bethenny

Like many health nuts, I really enjoy reading health food books/magazines. This summer I decided to buy my favorite Real Housewife’s book.  I have always loved Bethenny’s humor and sarcasm on the Real Housewives of New York City. And she is a natural food chef to boot!

When I found out she had a book, I knew I had to get it!

This book was my healthy tipping point. Though I’m young, I had counted calories and stressing over food since age 14.  Reading this book made me realize that food is NOT the enemy.  That you don’t have to be scared of food.  That you have complete control over what goes into your mouth.

 

I read Bethenny’s book 6 months ago and I haven’t counted a calorie since.  I eat when I’m hungry, I make healthy choices, and I don’t mindlessly eat.  Last Christmas I weighed 30lbs more than I weigh this Christmas.  I also contribute this to being gluten-free and my new found love of running.  But without Bethenny’s book I don’t know if Id be where I am today.

Last Christmas on the Left, This Christmas on the Right

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’m off to LA to go see my love!

xoxo,

Rachel