Monday, July 30, 2012

Quinoa Cakes w/ Spicy Marinara Sauce

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a very restful and enjoyable last weekend of July. We had a wonderful time at John's lake house this weekend, and we were able to spend so much time with his extended family. We only see each other once a year for our lake reunion, so it really is a lovely time.

Now that we're home? I can't believe I go back to school in two weeks! It's crunch time, and I am busy, busy making sure everything is ready for the start of the new year. Today's agenda includes some strength training at the gym, grocery shopping, a target run, and...reorganizing our closets. We'll see how far I get on that...

I stumbled across this recipe one night while jumping from blog to blog, looking for something to stand out. I bookmarked it, and it was perfect for when we got back from vacation because I had all the ingredients on hand. Much like this recipe.

Anyhoo, this is packed with awesome flavor! John went on and on about these, even saying they tasted like breadsticks with the dipping sauce. I was crazy about a filling and tasty meatless meal. Plus, it's a pretty cheap meal, too. Let me know what you think!

Quinoa Cakes with Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce
Recipe for Quinoa Cakes adapted from Let's Dish, via Kitchen Trial and Error
Recipe for Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce by Call Me Mrs. Rapp 
Yields about 8 cakes

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Loaded Turkey Santa Fe Baked Potato Skins

I didn't have the highest expectations for this dish. I was excited to try something new, but honestly I thought this might be a bit bland. Thanks to a few key spices and veggies, this was a phenomenal meal. John has told me every day since I made these how good they were. Who doesn't appreciate that?

I made this with only 4 potatoes, but I kept the recipe the same. I had some leftover turkey filling, and we've used it by itself and in wraps. I definitely plan to make more of this for lunches during the school year. It's a great way to get in veggies and protein while keeping things light.

One last suggestion? Use nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. John always claims he can tell a difference, so this time I acted like it was sour cream. Guess what? He didn't figure out it was Greek yogurt until he finished his meal and I told him. Sneaky substitutions for the win. ;)

Loaded Turkey Santa Fe Baked Potato Skins
Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste
Serves 3-7, depending on portions

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WIAW: Anniversary

It's been awhile since I've done one of these! These eats are from yesterday, also known as John and my second wedding anniversary. While much of the day was rooted in routine, we managed to spend some extra time together, and had a wonderful day. Thankful for another year with my hubby and ready for even more memories together.

As always, head over to Jenn's blog to see more foodie fun or to link up yourself!

Breakfast: Anniversary Egg Sandwich

John made me his specialty - and my favorite! - open-faced egg sandwich. Trader Joe's sprouted 7-grain bread + reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese + an over easy egg = a perfect start to our special day - especially when I'm not the one doing the cooking! ;)

Snack: Gatorade G Series Energy Chews in Cool Blue

Thanks to Ashley's giveaway a few weeks ago, I scored a free box of these. I had a packet before I headed to the gym for some cardio, this arm workout and a few leg and ab exercises. I've had some before my last few workouts, and I've really liked them!

Lunch: Loaded Turkey Santa Fe

My goodness was this tasty. I made Loaded Turkey Santa Fe Baked Potato Skins (recipe coming tomorrow!) the other night, and fortunately we had leftover filling. John put some in a tortilla to make a wrap, and I ate my in a bowl with a fork. Delicious! I will definitely be making this for school lunches this year.

Celebratory Champagne Toast with our Wedding Flutes

Cheers to two married years! :)

Dinner at Harry & Izzy's downtown

John and I splurged and went to one of our favorite downtown steak houses for our anniversary dinner. Since we had a glass of champagne at home, we skipped wine at dinner, but we did enjoy the famous shrimp cocktail, filets with blue cheese and roasted asparagus. Everything was fantastic! I even saved half my 8oz filet to bring home. I love leftovers!

Happy anniversary to us!
Dessert: Fresh Strawberries (unpictured)
Whoops! Forgot to take a picture. John and I shared a bowl of fresh strawberries as we relaxed and enjoyed the rest of our evening. I couldn't ask for a better anniversary or hubby!

Anniversary Fashion:
Top: BCBG, via BCBG Outlet (vacation find!)
White stretch skinny jeans: Hudson, via Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: Calvin Klein, via Bloomingdale's Outlet (another vacation find!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Linguine with Tomato Clam Sauce

This is a simple and delicious meal from the cookbook my wonderful mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. She knows how much I love having pictures of recipes, and this cookbook is filled with 1,000 recipes - AND all have a picture. Love it!

I made this recipe when we got back from vacation a few weeks ago. We didn't have much of anything left in our pantry or fridge, but we happened to have all the ingredients needed for this dish. It was very light for a pasta dish, and a nice, quick summer meal.

Also, apparently I was spent from taking so many vacation pictures because I only took two shots of this dish. Rest assured, you won't need step-by-step pictures for this simple dish.

Linguine with Tomato Clam Sauce
Recipe adapted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible
Serves 4

Monday, July 23, 2012

2nd Anniversary Trip to Disney

Happy Monday! 

Today is a big day. Today marks three weeks until work/school resumes. It really hit me today, and I ended up spending several hours today running errands, working out and enjoying my last bit of unstructured free time. I have a feeling these next weeks will fly by, and I want to be sure to enjoy this time.

Tomorrow is an even bigger day. Tomorrow is our 2nd wedding anniversary. It still feels like yesterday that I was reading John's letters to me on our wedding day. They made my heart swell with love as I prepared to do the best thing I've ever done - marry John. I'm grateful for my handsome, considerate, intelligent, funny husband, and I can't wait to make more memories with him.

Some of my favorite memories from this year included our trip to Disney World. We ran around like crazy all day, every day - including the park's extended hours (the app I told you about was the best tool, thank goodness we had it!)! I don't remember the last time my legs hurt that bad, but it was worth it for all we did and saw. The weather was more bipolar than Indiana, which I never knew to be possible. Thanks to a certain tropical storm, we were in hot sun and complete downpours within seconds of one another.

We laughed, relaxed, and enjoyed being big kids. The next time we go will be kiddos, so now we have a special time, too. This trip was our anniversary gift to each other, so I thought this was a fitting time to share some of my favorites. (Last year we went to Universal Studios!)

Inside our beautiful hotel...We loved The Grand Floridian!

Being a bit silly

Waiting in line for Winne the Pooh ride


Beautiful breakfast

Some of the weather we experienced

Don't get splashed!

Had to show the castle!

Self-portraits, most often in line :)

Last picture of the whole trip...wiped.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mimi's Steak Fries

Hello, strangers friends!

I have clearly been enjoying my summer so much that I've neglected my little blog. I'll get into that in another post, but for now I have a great summer recipe for you!

A few weekends ago I helped John's grandma, Mimi, make these steak fries. I've had my wonderful mother-in-law's version of these for years, and I absolutely love them. Last weekend we went to the lake with some friends, and I decided to recreate Mimi's recipe. The fries were a huge hit! Even better? They are so easy to throw together and absolutely delicious.

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I've missed you all, and I would love to hear what you're up to. Until next time!

Mimi's Steak Fries
Recipe adapted from Mimi (and my Mother-in-Law Leslie!)
Yields 2 sheet pans of steak fries 

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