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panini’s & poppyseed pancakes

I was exhausted last night, but luckily had dinner waiting for me when I came home!  Brant whipped up some Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Panini’s with Sweet Potato Fries.

On seeded whole grain bread, which was amazing!

I had him spread some Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke spread from Trader Joes on mine.  This spread is incredible, try it!

It was delicious once pressed.

Paired with sweet potato fries, even more amazing!

To make the fries he just cut them up and sprinkled them with seasonings.

While he cooked, I sipped on a Pomtini!

A great, quick Friday night dinner!

I had a snack yesterday afternoon that I just have to tell you guys about because it was so good.  Apple clusters from Trader Joes!  They are delicious!

Has anyone noticed my obsession with Trader Joe’s, yet? 🙂

Anyways, on to breakfast this morning, which was also made by my husband!  Poppyseed Pancakes from 101cookbooks.com, which were so different and so good!

Poppyseed Pancakes

adapted from 101cookbooks.com

We cut the recipe in half to serve 2 (with 2 pancakes still leftover)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/6 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted until deeply golden
  • 1 1/8 cups organic buttermilk
  • 1 large organic egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (added)

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix.  Be careful not to over mix!

2. Heat up your skillet (or pan) and cook pancakes!

3. Cook until golden brown.

4. Serve with citrus maple syrup (recipe to follow) or syrup of your choice!

Citrus Maple Syrup

from 101cookbooks.com

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 oranges, peeled and chopped into small bits
  • 1 lemon, peeled and chopped into small bits
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or other natural cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Directions:

1.  Cut up oranges and lemon and place in a small pot with sugar ad syrup.

2. Heat over medium heat until sugars melt and become syrup.

3. Simmer until pancakes are ready to keep warm!

Serve warm pancakes with a dollop of plain greek yogurt (if desired) and citrus syrup.  Garnish with sunflower seeds.

This was a great pancake recipe.  I am normally not a pancake or waffle fan, so when we make them, I like them to be different and more filling.  This was perfect!  Heidi has phenomenal recipes on her website – check them out.

We are off to explore for the day.   See you later on.  Happy Saturday!!

lots of liquids

It was an early Saturday morning for me!  We were up late watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies(!!) and up bright and early to head up skiing this morning!

I started the day at 5:30am with a slice of whole grain seeded toast with maple almond butter (my absolute favorite) and a pineapple chobani.

I also packed lots of fluids for our ride to Loon.  I drank a little too much wine last night and needed some replenishment – big time!  I started with a cranberry pomegranate emergen-c, then packed a coconut water and some oriental moon tea.  YUM!

After 2 hours in the car, we finally arrived at the mountain!!

We immediately got out on the slopes and had a full day of skiing.  Mid way through I snacked on a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar we stopped for a refreshment. 🙂  I love this Larabar flavor and I love Blue Moon.

I am really glad that I had this larabar in my pocket.  Otherwise, I would have been eating something unhealthy for a snack in the lodge!  More to come on snacks in my weekly tip post on Monday.

Then, we were back out on the slopes for a bit.  Here we are having fun!

We stopped home for a quick lunch.  Homemade turkey chili (by mom!) and beer bread (also made by mom!).

I just had a really really small bowl to hold me over, since it was such a late lunch!

Then, we were off to the bar for apres ski.  So much fun, and a packed bar!  I refrained from drinking…I needed to save up for wine at dinner (and be able to stay awake!)

We came back to the house for apps and dinner!  Lots of cheese, crackers, chips and salsa!

My favorite combo was the herbed goat cheese on pita chips.

Dinner was delicious!  Dad made shrimp and pesto risotto topped with parmesan cheese, and I threw together a garden salad with carrots, tomatoes and black olives.  Both were served along with some hot and crusty ciabatta.

Very yummy!  Perfect comfort food after a full day of skiing.

Risotto is not the healthiest meal choice, but everything in moderation, right?  You can’t see and smell fresh homemade risotto without eating some!  I love to eat healthy.  I love healthy food and how it makes me feel.  But, that does not mean that I won’t indulge every so often.  When I do indulge, I’ll try to give tips on how to make it healthier!  Like this:

I filled half of my plate with salad, then added a scoop of risotto and a slice of ciabatta with a teaspoon of butter.

Served with some great wine.

On to more unhealthy food – ice cream sundaes!

Sorry for the really bad photo – not sure what happened there!  A scoop of Mocha Almond Ice Cream with hot fudge sauce.  Hit the spot.

Time to get back to the Olympics!

cross country skiing

It was chilly up here in New Hampshire yesterday, so we started with a hearty breakfast!

My mom made a delicious breakfast with broccoli quiche, sour cream coffee cake and fresh cut cantaloupe.  It was a great start to the day.

And, my plate!

After breakfast we headed out to cross country ski with my in-laws.  I haven’t been cross country skiing in a really long time, so it took a little while to get the hang of it, but once I did it was fun!

We went to the rental place to pick up our stuff.

After what seemed like forever to get our gear, we headed out to the slopes!

We made it 2 laps around these cross country trails.  It felt like a great total body workout!  I am exhausted. 🙂  Some pics of our day!

It was mostly flat or uphill, until we came to the hills – yikes!

We made it down and stopped by the river for some photo ops!

It was a gorgeous day!  After we finished skiing, I snacked on my new favorite bar for some protein before lunch.

Once home, we had panini’s and homemade soup for lunch!

I enjoyed a grilled cheese with cheddar and some roasted root vegetable soup from Barefoot Contessa made by mom!

After lunch we took a scenic drive up to the Mount Washington Inn!  The sky was a gorgeous blue and so clear that we had a perfect view of Mount Washington from the Inn.

We decided to sit in the gorgeous lobby overlooking the enormous fireplace and enjoy an afternoon cocktail!

I enjoyed a hot apple grog (cider and brandy) along with my mom and father-in-law, while Brant and his mom enjoyed an Irish Coffee.

With a cinnamon stick!

And, some snacks.

Once home from our lovely and relaxing afternoon, we started preparing for the dinner party!

A fun cheese platter!  I have a major cheese weakness…I love the Apricot Stilton, yum!!

And, the whole appetizer spread.

Lots of yummy choices, but I stuck with the cheese and crackers.  They went better with my cosmopolitan!

Dinner was chicken marsala, israeli couscous salad, spinach pie, and salad.  Here is some of the spread.

My favorite was the couscous!  YUM!

And, it is so simple!  Just israeli couscous, toasted pinenuts, raisins and some herbs.  Delicious.  I made a plate up of green salad and the couscous with added mushrooms from the chicken marsala (minus the chicken)!  Along with a glass of red wine.  Perfect!

bbq chicken pizza

I love Friday nights at home!  It is great to just be able to eat dinner and relax after a long week.  Last night, i celebration of our first Friday night at home in months, we decided to make some homemade BBQ chicken pizza for dinner.

We started with store bought whole wheat pizza dough, since we didn’t decide on our plan early enough to make our own.  It is tough to find pre-made dough without tons of ingredients in it, but surprisingly the dough I picked up at Hanaford’s only had 4 ingredients: whole wheat flour, water, salt and yeast!  Perfect!

Brant stretched out the pizza dough to perfection. 🙂

Regular old tomato sauce from a can was added to the dough, after it was pre-cooked a bit.

I like a lot of cheese on my pizza, so for this creation I sprinkled on some cheese before and after the toppings!  First up, was some shredded mozzarella.

Next up were grilled chicken and caramelized red onions.  The chicken was seasoned with essence, grilled in our stove top grill pan, and then cut into small stips.  The onion was chopped up and sauteed in a little olive oil and a teaspoon of cane sugar.

Then came more cheese!  We used a mexican blend, along with more mozzarella to sprinkle over the toppings.  Ok, so it may have been more of a sprinkle!

We then drizzled Annie’s BBQ sauce on top.  I like Annie’s because they use all natural ingredients.  Many of the bottled BBQ sauce on the shelves has bad oils in it.

Then, it was ready for the pre-heated oven.  We placed the pizza onto our pizza stone, and popped it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400°F.

While we were waiting, we enjoyed some cocktails!  Brant stuck with an ice cold beer, while I tried out our new Sweet Tea vodka!

Mixed with seltzer water and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Tasted just like ice tea with lemon.  Not too sweet at all.  Yum!

After 20 minutes, our pizza masterpiece was done!  The cheese was hot and bubbly and the crust was perfectly browned.  We enjoyed a few slices each.

I wasn’t sure about the amount of BBQ sauce, but it was perfect!

Delicious!

The great thing about homemade pizza is that you can use whatever toppings you want!  I made sure to buy an extra dough and more toppings for a veggie pizza sometime this week!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat pizza dough (store bought, or make your own!)
  • 1/2 small can of Tomato Sauce
  • 1-1.5 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup mexican blend cheese
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 medium red onion, carmelized
  • 1/2-1 cup Annie’s BBQ sauce (or any brand you desire)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Roll out pizza dough on pizza stone; brush edges with a little olive oil.
  3. Pre-cook crust for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, season chicken with herbs, salt and pepper and cook.  Once done, cut into strips.
  5. Chop red onion and saute with salt, olive oil and sugar to caramelize.
  6. Once dough is pre-cooked, remove from oven and cover with tomato sauce.
  7. Add 1/2 of mozzarella cheese, then chicken and onion.
  8. Cover toppings with rest of mozzarella cheese, then mexican cheese.
  9. Drizzle BBQ sauce over cheese.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

Pizza is such a simple and delicious meal to make!  I could eat it all the time because I love it so much, but I try to plan special nights like this in order to enjoy it even more!

date night!

What a great saturday!!  It was beautiful out, so I spent some time running outside before our date night!  We had a pretty open weekend, so we decided to spend the afternoon at the movies.  We headed over to the new outdoor shopping mall in Dedham, Legacy Place.  Lots of fun shops, movies and restaurants!  We saw a matinee, Paranormal, the scary Blair Witch-esque movie.  It was creepy!  Definitely having nightmares from that one.  It was that creepy-it-could-be-real kind of scary, which seems so much scarier to me than the normal scary.  It wasn’t the best movie, but it was ok.

After the movie we headed to Kings for some cocktails and bowling!  It was so much fun to just hang out together.  We started out with some cocktails and nachos at the bar while we waited for a bowling lane.  I tried the Strawberry Fusion Martini – yum!

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Strawberry Fusion Martini – strawberry vodka, white grape juice with fresh strawberry puree and a splash of champagne with a sugar rim.

After we finished our cocktails, we started our bowling!  Brant is a great at bowling, but I kept up during round 2!

Our moves:

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Brant with his first shot

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Jen trying to keep up!

Our scores:

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Round 1

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Round 2

Such a fun and relaxing night!

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