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smaller meals & snacks

I have been so hungry when I wake up over the past few weeks.  I try to get up and drink some water right away because I also feel very thirsty, but that doesn’t keep me out of the kitchen for long!  It’s usually around the time I am brushing my teeth that my stomach really starts grumbling. 🙂

I head to the kitchen for some cereal to hold me over.

Pomegranate Blueberry Crisp from Trader Joe’s.

It is delicious, but a little too sweet for me in the mornings.

I also usually whip up a smoothie to drink mid-morning at work, when I knew I will be hungry again.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 8 frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp pepitas
  • 1 cup water

I love smoothies as a morning snack!  They are filling and refreshing.

For lunch today, I made an old favorite, which was pieced together after scouring through our empty cabinets and fridge for lunch.

Almond Butter, Banana and Jelly Sandwich on Millet Bread.

(this is a recycled photo, but you get the point! :))

I seem to get hungrier for snacks than I did before and I think it is because my meals have been smaller.  I don’t have as much room for food in my stomach anymore (!!), so smaller meals and snacks sit much better with me.

Snacktime  – Hummus & Spelt Pretzels

And, for dinner, I stopped at Panera Bread on my way to our Newborn Essentials class!

Thai Chicken Salad, which was packed with romaine lettuce, chicken, peppers, carrots, edamame, wonton crisps and a light thai dressing.

This salad was great!

And, during class I snacked on a Blueberry Muffin Larabar, which is a new flavor that was sent to me from Larabar as a sample.

This flavor is delicious!  It smells just like fresh baked muffins and tastes just as good.

adventures in breadmaking

This past Wednesday, Boston was hit with a big snowstorm, which meant a snow day!  It was a perfect day to stay inside and bake. 🙂

I started the chilly, snowy day off with a bowl of warm oatbran.

I cooked the oatbran with milk, a mashed banana, a dash of vanilla and a shake of cinnamon.  It came out great!

I stirred in some dried blueberries towards the end and topped it with chocolate peanut butter, cranberry almond butter and a sprinkle of coconut.

A great breakfast on such a chilly morning.

Next on my list for the day was to try out my new breadmaker that we got for Christmas!

I had been dying to try it out.  So, I looked up some recipes and got started with some Cranberry Almond Apricot bread.

It is extremely important that you put the ingredients into the breadmaker in the order shown.  Wet ingredients must be first, then dry on top.

Then, place the pan into the breadmaker.

Close the lid and make your selections.  For this bread, I used the White Bread setting for a 1lb. loaf on light (next time, I would do medium).

Three hours and 21 minutes later, out came the perfect loaf of bread. 🙂

A crust formed on the outside, and when you sliced into the bread it was soft and doughy.  Just the way I like it.

A little while later, I sliced up a piece of the warm bread spread on a little butter and served it with a smoothie for my afternoon snack. 🙂

A chocolate cherry bomb smoothie!


Now, I know not everyone has a breadmaker…and you could definitely make this bread without one and bake it in the oven.  It just takes a little more work because you are waiting for the dough to rise, etc.  But, I’m sure the bread would come out just as good!

my newest cravings – carbs!

I still can’t figure out if my cravings are really from being pregnant, or just normal cravings that every woman has. What I do know, is that I give in to my cravings much more these days…and I love it. 🙂

This week, my newest obsession is cereal. But, not just any cereal…crunchy cereal! The last few days, I have been loving Kashi Go Lean Crunch – Honey Almond Flax.

It is crunchy and sweet, without being overly sweet.

And, I love it topped with banana and served with freezing cold milk.

The ingredient list isn’t so bad, and the nutritionals are definitely up to par. With 200 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein it will keep you full and satisfied for awhile.

Other favorites for lunches have been hummus sandwiches made on homemade bread (made with my new breadmaker!!) filled with hummus, spinach/lettuce and cucumbers.

This might be my absolute favorite lunch…it’s delicious and satisfying. Two really important things!

Along with my sandwiches, I try to eat a piece of fruit and a yogurt for more staying power.

And, for dinners I have been craving carbs! So, the other night we decided to make up a lighter Mac & Cheese that I found in my Women’s Running magazine.

It was delicious! Made with butternut sqaush and a limited amount of cheese…it still tasted cheesy!

We cheated and used frozen butternut squash, which made the dish extremely simple to make.

You just mix everything up.

Pour into a baking dish, sprinkle on a breadcrumb and parmesan mix and bake for 30ish minutes!

It bakes up with a crispy, crunchy top which makes a perfect mac & cheese.

This is definitely a dish worth making…and it served us both for 3 meals!

back to the kitchen

My meals have not been the most exciting lately, which is really why I think that I haven’t been in the mood to blog.  I mean, who wants to see the same dinner every single night?! 🙂  You already get to see enough oatmeal and smoothies…

Pasta, simple salads, grilled cheese, simple salads, eggs, simple salads…that is basically what has been on the menu for the past month, which a few goodies thrown in there every once in awhile.  I have been wanting carbs, carbs and more carbs!

Last night, I finally decided that I wanted to make something for dinner!  So, I went with an old favorite – Stuffed Peppers.

Stuffed peppers really are super easy.  I popped 1 cup of rice into my rice cooker when I got home from work (on quick cook) and headed out for a 60 minute walk around the neighborhood for some fresh air and exercise.

Once home, the rice was done!  So, I cut up the peppers and placed them in the oven to cook a bit while I was making the filling.

Into the filling went diced pepper, frozen peas, frozen corn, brown rice and taco seasoning (which I cheated and bought at the store).  After that was all heated through, I added a few big spoonfuls of salsa and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.  So simple!

Stuff your peppers and bake for about 20 minutes, until the peppers are soft.

The rice takes awhile to cook, but if you use precooked rice, then you have yourself a simple weeknight meal!

Tonight, I got even more creative (but still kept it simple).

I had a craving for broccoli cheddar soup, so into my vita mix went the following:

  • 1 cup of 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cheddar cheese
  • 1 head of chopped, steamed broccoli
  • 1/4 sauteed onion
  • 1 tsp tapioca startch to thicken
  • salt and pepper to taste

Once everything was pureed, I left the vitamix on for a good 5 minutes to make it hot!

YUM!!  Garnish your soup with a few broccoli florets and some shredded cheddar cheese.

Along with the soup, I made up some easy homemade corn muffins and roasted some asparagus in the oven with a sprinkle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

All in all, it was a great meal.  Just what I was craving!

The corn muffins were just ok, but I thought I’d give you the recipe anyways.  I mixed them up first to get them cooking while I was making the soup.

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cups turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup safflower oil

Mix your dry ingredients together.  Mix your wet ingredients together.  Then, add the wet to your dry and mix to combine.

Pour into muffin tins of choice and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.

Serve warm with a pat of butter.  Mmmm…

A delicious meal.

i’m dreaming of a white chocolate christmas

Brant and I took a baking class on Saturday at the Cambridge Culinary Institute and had so much fun!

It got us into the holiday spirit and was nice to get some new ideas and tips from our instructor.

The class was I’m Dreaming of a White Chocolate Christmas and was (obviously) a class filled with baking with white chocolate.

There were a variety of recipes for us to choose from.  Some people focused on cakes and some kept it simpler, like us.  We decided to try a few different recipes for scones, cookies and truffles.  All of which were easy to make and tasted delicious!

First up, White Chocolate Scones:

Making the dough was fun!

Form the dough into a circle and cut into triangles.

Bake for 20 minutes until slightly browned.

Instructors tip: Stack 2 cookie sheets together while baking so that the bottoms don’t brown to quickly.

These scones were delicious!  Crispy and flaky, just like a scone should be. 🙂

Next up, White Chocolate Dream Cookies:

Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Chop white chocolate and toast macademia nuts before adding.

Using an ice cream scoop, form into balls and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until browned.


Last up, White Chocolate Truffles:

These truffles were super easy!

Melt cream, butter, vanilla and white chocolate in a bowl.

Cool for a few hours, or pop the bowl into an ice bath and stir until harded enough to form balls.

To make it easy, we scooped the cooled mixture into a pastry sleeve and portioned out the chocolate mixture.

They don’t need to look pretty because you will be reshaping them once harded.

After a few hours in the fridge or 10 minutes in the freezer, use your hand to form the truffles into round balls.  Serve plain or dip into mixture of choice – we chose crushed pistachios and toasted coconut.

These would make perfect holiday gifts!

All of our goodies.

Other folks in the class make souffles and cakes!

We got a little of everything to sample at home.

It was a great and informative class!  I would definitely do it again!

eastern market & le pain quotidien

Don’t forget to check out my post on Living Harvest about Staying Healthy, Active and Motivated All Winter!


Before heading the the airport, we had some breakfast and checked out the famous Eastern Market which features a flea market, farmer’s market and craft fair!

Breakfast was first..at Le Pain Quotidien.

The restaurant is all over the world in various countries, including the USA.  I have been to the NYC location before, so I was excited to see it directly across from our hotel.

They use all local and sustainable ingredients in their meals.

Everything on the menu looked great, but I decided on the Harvest Porridge and some toast.

Farro with almond milk, cranberries, mixed nuts and garnished with strawberries.

And, a side of toast with their amazing hazelnut spread and jam!

A bit later, I ordered a Hot Chocolate while waiting for others to finish up breakfast.

Oh my gosh!  Delicious!

My hot chocolate was served as a cup of steamed organic milk and a side of melted chocolate.

I poured in the chocolate to get the best hot chocolate yet!

Once we were fueled for the day, we headed to Eastern Market.

If you haven’t noticed recently, my favorite thing to do while travelling is to check out the local farmer’s markets. 🙂

This one had a variety of produce.

And, holiday vendors.

We strolled through the neighborhood eyeing the adorable houses.

And, our view of the Capital.

And like that, I was off to catch my flight…

It was a wonderful few days in Washington DC!

white house tour, georgetown & cupcakes

Day 2 of our Washington DC trip featured a private tour of the White House (including the kitchen, bakery and flower shop!!) and a trip to Georgetown for some shopping and eating.  definitely a fun day!

The White House (shown here at night) was all decorated for the holidays.

We headed through the gates…

…and down the quiet path to the White House.

Each year, the White House has a different decorating theme.  This year, it was Simple Gifts.  Everything was made out of simple things…and transformed into elaborate Christmas Trees and decorations.

A peek inside…

The decorated rooms led us right into the flower shop.

And, the kitchen and bakery, where we enjoyed on a chocolate truffle mouse!

It was a fabulous tour!

After the tour, we hopped in a taxi and headed straight to Georgetown.

We walked around and enjoyed the shops, then found some lunch…and a delicious cupcake shop!

There was a line out the door when we spotted the shop…who knew that cupcakes could cause this much chaos!

Chocolate PB Chip for me…and White Chocolate Peppermint for mom.

Hands down the best cupcakes I have ever had!  The chocolate cupcake was filled with PB chips, and the frosting was pure PB…delicious. 🙂

What a day! 🙂