Monday, June 30, 2008

Bye Gary! We'll Miss You!

Today was Gary's last day AND his birthday so we all went to The Slanted Door for lunch. It was a lotta fun and we'll all miss Gary SO much! What will we all do without Gary BOY??? :(

You better call and email us all the time Gary! OR else I'm gonna Taebo your ass!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ultimate Taebo!

I ordered this new Taebo DVD a couple of weeks ago and tried it out for the first time this morning. OMG! That's ALL I have to say! I mean, Billy still uses his signature kicks and punches but they're NON-STOP for 90 minutes! After the initial hour, he takes a break to let you get some water and then gives you the option to quit or go on for another 30 minutes. OF COURSE...I wasn't a QUITTER! So I went on and felt AWESOME! It's the most intense Taebo workout yet and works everything from indurance to strength.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dijon Mustard Sauce from William Sonoma!

Greg brought home this bottle of Dijon Mustard Sauce from William Sonoma last week. I think it's supposed to be a French finishing sauce but the label doesn't really tell you much about it besides that you can use it on basically anything from chicken to pork to fish. (Great...) Anyway, so I decided to raid our freezer for something to "finish" with the sauce and found chicken breast! You might not be able to see it, but hidden under all that onion/mushroom goodness, there actually were 2 pieces of chicken breasts! :)

2 boneless chicken breasts
¼ c all purpose flour
1/2 medium onion
1 c mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp garlic salt
1½ Tbsp Dijon mustard sauce
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp Olive oil

1. In shallow pan, stir together flour, salt and pepper. Coat both sides of chicken with flour mixture.
2. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and mushrooms in hot oil until translucent, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove chicken to serving plate; cover to keep warm.
3. Stir sauce into skillet. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Waffle Maker!

We finally got a Waffle Maker! BUT it's not just an ordinary waffle maker, it has plates for Panini's AND sandwiches! It's Thursday night, which means I'm baking about 6 dozen cookies, SO I decided we'd have waffles for dinner! Greg needs his meat, of course, so I made Bacon Cheddar Waffles! They were SO good and SO easy! I also found this recipe for Peanut Butter Waffles, which I plan on making for my mom. They're easy to freeze and reheat so they'd be perfect for her. WITH some nuts, of course! :)

Ingredients: (4 waffles)

1 c Original Bisquick® mix
1 c milk
1 egg
1 c shredded Swiss cheese (4 oz)
½ c crumbled cooked bacon

1. Heat waffle iron; grease with butter.
2. Stir Bisquick, milk and eggs in large bowl until blended. Stir in cheese and bacon. Pour onto center of hot waffle iron. Close lid of waffle iron.
3. Bake until steaming stops and waffle is golden brown. Carefully remove waffle.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Workouts (Day 3)

I've decided to take tomorrow off from lifting so here's my (double) workout today:

-Seated Barbell Front Press: 30 lbs, 8 reps, 3 sets
-Lateral Dumbbell Raises: 2 lbs, 25 reps, 2 sets
-Rear Cable Raises: 5 lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets

-Barbell Upright Rows: 20 lbs, 8 reps, 3 sets
-Dumbbell Shrugs: 15 lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets

-Close-Grip Pulldowns: 40 lbs, 8 reps, 4 sets
-Wide-Grip Pulldowns: 35 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets
-Cross-Bench Dumbbell Pullovers: 10 lbs, 14 reps, 3 sets

-Standing Barbell Curls: 25 lbs, 8 reps, 3 sets
-Incline Dumbbell Curls: 5 lbs, 18 reps, 2 sets
-Standing Barbell Reverse Curls: 15 lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets

-Barbell Wrist Curls: 20 lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets

WHEW! I'm gonna have a LONG workout!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Workouts for Day 2

My workout last night was great! The gym was super crowded since it was Monday but I made it! Greg came with me, which made it even better! :)

Here's my workout for Day 2:

-Barbell Lunges: 25 lbs, 10 reps, 4 sets
-Angled Leg Press: 110 lbs, 10 reps, 4 sets
-Lying Leg Curls: 20 lbs, 16 reps, 3 sets
-Leg Extensions: 30 lbs, 12 reps, 2 sets

-Donkey Calf Raises: 100 lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets
-Seated Calf Raises: 25 lbs, 15 reps, 2 sets

Lower Back
- Hyper Extensions Level III: 10 reps, 3 sets

What I realized from last night was that this program really doesn't work your abs very much and they use the same exercises OVER and OVER again! SO...I decided to do my own thing at home after my workout. I did crunches, bicycles and side crunches last night and will probably switch off between Pilates on Exercise TV and my own. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Fitness Planner (Day 1)

Happy Monday! I officially re-joined Fitness Magazine's online Fitness Planner! Here's my workout for today:

-Barbell Bench Press: 50 lbs, 8 reps, 4 sets
-Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes: 12 lbs, 11 reps, 3 sets
-Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 10 lbs, 11 reps, 3 sets

-One-Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 10 lbs, 8 reps, 3 sets
-Rope Extensions: 15 lbs, 12 reps, 2 sets
-Triceps Parallel-Bar Dips: 9 reps, 2 sets

-Hanging Leg Raises: 10 reps, 1 set
-Hanging Knee Tucks: 20 reps, 1 set
-Flutter Kicks: 20 reps, 1 set
-Incline Sit-Ups: 20 reps, 1 set
-Bicycle Crunches: 20 reps, 2 sets
-Side Crunches: 20 reps, 2 sets

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pasta from Giada

I was watching Giada AGAIN the other day and she made the most simple but YUMMY looking pasta with pre-cooked sausage! SO...since we already have some sausages in the fridge, I thought I'd give it a try.

Ingredients: (2 servings)

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 links of chicken sausages
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ c chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 c corkscrew pasta
1 c ricotta cheese


1. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the sausage and, when it is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/4-inch slices. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat from the pan.
2. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
3. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the sausage, tomatoes, and ¼ tsp salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce, the ricotta, and the remaining ¼ tsp salt.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Women's Health Magazine Booty Workout!

Hip Bridge and Heel Drag
Works core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves
Lie on your back with your lower legs on a stability ball. Raise your hips until they're aligned with your feet and shoulders (A). Raise your left leg until the bottom of your foot is facing the ceiling (B). Press your right heel into the ball and roll it toward your butt (C). Roll the ball back out. Keeping your hips lifted, repeat the rolling motion for 12 to 15 reps. Repeat on the other side, resting for 30 seconds beforehand if needed. That's one set. Do three sets, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

Lunge-Reach Combo

Works hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads
Grab a pair of 10- to 15-pound dumbbells and stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Keeping your right leg straight and your toes facing forward, lunge to the left and lower your hips until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Bend at the hips and lower the dumbbells so they're on either side of your left calf (A). Return to center. Next, perform a reverse lunge, stepping back with your left leg. Bend at the hips and lower the dumbbells so they're on either side of your right calf (B). Return to start. Do 12 to 15 reps, then repeat, lunging with your right leg. That's one set. Do three sets, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

Front Lunge Push-Off
Works core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves
Grab a pair of 10- to 15-pound dumbbells and stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Leading first with your left foot, lunge forward and lower your hips until both knees form 90-degree angles (A). With your right leg, pull yourself back to standing as you raise your left leg until your thigh is parallel to the floor (B). Balance on your right leg for one second, then return to start. Do 12 to 15 reps, then repeat on the other side. That's one set. Do three sets, resting for 30 seconds between sets. Trainer tip: Contract your glutes and look straight ahead to maintain your balance.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Exercise TV On Demand!

I think I've just discovered the most awesome thing since Taebo! FREE workouts ON DEMAND!

I just tried the Pilates Abs on Sunday morning and LOVED it! The best part? The workouts CHANGE so you're not stuck doing the same stuff over and over again! GOTTA love Comcast!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Power Couples (Food that is!)

From Muscle & Fitness Hers
Food synergy means 2 or more nutrients coming together to produce greater health benefits. If you combine 1 food with another, their phytochemicals hook up to ward off cancer more efficiently than if they went at it alone. The right food pairings can keep our bodies fit, too.

#1: Iron & Vitamin C
-Spinach (iron) topped with Tomatoes (C)
-Kidney beans (iron) mixed with red bell peppers (C)

#2 Calcium & Vitamin D
-Salmon (D) mixed with Yogurt (calcium)
-Eggs (D) topped with cheese (calcium)

#3 Protein & Carbohydrate
-Yogurt (protein) mixed with fruit (carbs)
-Chicken (protein) served with potatoes (carbs)

#4 Fat & Carotenoids
-Dark greens (carotenoids) topped with Walnuts (fat)
-Carrots (carotenoids) with almonds (fat)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Peanut Butter Blossoms

It was a hot day in the city but that didn't stop me from baking! These are probably one of the cutest cookies I've ever made! It was SO hard for the chocolatey centers to set though, because our apartment was SO hot! I ended up clearing out most of our fridge to let them cool in there. But was it worth it? OF COURSE!!! :)

Ingredients: (4 dozen cookies)

½ c sugar
½ c firmly packed brown sugar
½ c butter, softened
½ c peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1¾ c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ c sugar
48 milk chocolate candy kisses or hugs, unwrapped


1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. Combine ½ c sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.) Roll balls in ¼ c sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

JUMBO Stuffed Shells

This is another Giada dish that we watched her make the other night as one of her " Viewer's Most Requested Dishes." It was so much fun to stuff the JUMBO SHELLS! Here's a picture of the entire dish right out of the oven with the cheese still bubbling...

...And here we are after plating...(see the ooey gooey cheesy stings? YUM!)

14 jumbo shells pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 slices of ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 c whole milk ricotta cheese
1 c shredded Mozzerella cheese
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c heavy whipping cream
2 c shredded Mozzerella cheese
1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the shells:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
2. Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the ham and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the hamfrom the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add the spinach, ricotta cheese, Mozzerella cheese and pepper. Stir to combine. Stuff the shells with about 2 Tbsp of the spinach mixture each and place the stuffed shells in a large, buttered baking dish.

For the sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to very low and add the 2 c Mozzerella cheese, parsley, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is dissolved.
2. Pour the sauce over the shells. Bake until golden on top, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Birthday Trip!

Mommy and I are back from our annual birthday trip and it was so much fun! We started at Niagara Falls, where we got drenched but still had a great time! Here is us right before going on the Maid of the Mist boat ride. We got up close and personal with the falls and it was just gorgeous!

The next day we drove to Toronto and got to go up the tallest building in the world, the CN Tower! The view from above was AMAZING! Then we walked around downtown and here is us in front of the New City Hall.

Our final stops were Ottawa and Montreal. They were both beautiful cities and we did as much exploring as we had time for. Here is mommy in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa and me in front of a building in Old Montreal.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip and I can't WAIT to go on vacation again! :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

POP Goes the CHIP!

POPCHIPS are AWESOME! I mean I basically LOVE all types of chips: potato, soy, ANYTHING baked but these are something new definitely worth trying!

They're thin and FULL of bold flavor. AND speaking of flavor, they come in 9 different ones ranging from good old BBQ to WASABI! My favorite though is the Parmesan Garlic. The little flakes of cheese and garlic cover the ENTIRE chip. Oh and did I mention they're all pretty low in calories? All the flavors range for 110 to 120 calories for 20 chips! I'm still dying to try the Salsa, which I haven't been able to find. I've seen them at Safeway, Lucky's and even Walgreen's so they shouldn't be hard to find. If you're a savory snack person, you'll REALLY like these!

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