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Honeymoon Mystery and Deliciously Simple Asian Tofu Salad

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Yesterday, Mom and I spent the morning driving up to Michigan to meet my dad and be with family for the morning.  On the way up there, we saw about a bazillion hot air balloons.  I know it’s hard to see in the picture below, but all those little specs are hot air balloons!  We had no idea why so many were out on a Wednesday morning, or even that so many people owned hot air balloons, but it gave us some nice scenery along the drive.

The trip to Fort Wayne and Michigan was short and sweet, so before I knew it, I was in the car and heading back to Indianapolis to meet with our Travel Agent to speak of honey moon plans.

It was a long day of driving, so I needed snacks in the car.  Mom packed up some cucumbers, radishes (yum!  I don’t eat these enough!), green pepper, and dried apricot.

It was great talking with the travel agent.  Brian and I just keep getting more and more excited about the wedding and our honey moon each day and can’t wait for next summer!

We haven’t booked anything yet, but hopefully soon we will have our arrangements all settled to travel to one of these locations…

Cinque Terre, Italy

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Negril, Jamaica

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The Bahamas

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Any guesses as to which location Brian and I are trying to make our honeymoon destination? We will let you know the answer once everything is all booked!

Dinner

When we arrived home, it was later than our usual dinner time and both of us were a bit hungry.  Luckily, I had prepped a meal on Sunday so we had to wait almost no time for dinner to be on the table.

Asian Tofu Salad

Yields:  2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of cubed tofu
  • 2 cups of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped cabbage

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and olive oil.  Stir until combined.  Pour about half of the Asian dressing over the cubed tofu to marinate.  Spray and grease a baking sheet, and lay the tofu on the sheet.  Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, stir the tofu around and place in the oven for 10-15 more minutes until it reaches your desired crispness.

This tofu can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days so that you can have this meal later in the week, or you can serve it right away.  

Divide the lettuce and cabbage into two bowls.  Top with the tofu and the remaining dressing.  Eat and enjoy!

This meal was delicious and tasty, so simple, and we both cleaned every bite from our plates!

Hope you all have a great Thursday!

Of Possible Interest

 

Strawberry 3 Times!

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After showering and getting ready at the gym this morning, I tried something new.

A Tropical Strawberry flavored Shakeology drink.  I received the sample in the mail a couple of weeks ago and thought now would be as good of a time as any to try it out.  I simply poured the mix into 8 oz of water in my bottle, shook it up…got a little on my shirt and drank it on my way to work.

It tasted pretty good!  I think it would be better mixed in things like protein pancakes, smoothies, or bars simply because of the slightly gritty texture due to the rice bran protein, but I enjoyed it and drank the entire thing!

Although the ingredients list is long, there are a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and super foods crammed into that little packet.  It was a tasty treat that I will have to consider getting more of.  I wonder how the chocolate flavor tastes??

Lunch

I must have been in a strawberry mood, because I have had them three times today!

For lunch, I mixed chopped strawberries, chopped mixed nuts, reduced fat feta, red onion, canned salmon all on top of some green leaf lettuce.  I then drizzled the tasty salad with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.  Seriously, I think I have a new favorite summer lunch.

I hope that your day is going well, time to get back to work!

I’ve Got the Itch….

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It is Friday afternoon, and I am feeling the weekend itch!

Brenna taught me a new way to curl my hair a couple of days ago.  I tried it this morning.  Can you see a difference??

I can’t really see that much of a difference because I don’t think I did it completely right.  Oops!  Looks like I need to keep practicing!

Lunch

Because I had a late night, Kate packed a little lunch for me again.  All that I needed to do was add some protein to my salad.

I whipped up some egg whites mixed with cottage cheese and spinach this morning, let them cool and then plopped them right on top of the romaine salad with green peppers, zucchini, and tomato…to top it all of, some of Brian’s dad’s homemade pico de gallo…delicous 🙂

Now back to the daily grind, but here are some fun lunch time reading materials to leave you with.

Of Possible Interest:

$80 Poorer

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Yesterday when I arrived home from work, it seemed kind of crazy because the sun was still up!  It was nice to come home right after work and not really have anything that was an absolute must on the to-do list.

Before I left for work, I laid out a piece of salmon that was just waiting to be baked in the oven for dinner when I got home.  While I prepped and cooked my salmon, Brian’s mom made me a nice little salad which made a nice bed for my salmon once it was done cooking.

Yumm…simple, little thought required, quick, and tasty.  Just what I needed.

Broken Charger

A couple of days ago, my charger broke.  I am not sure how it happened, but there was no way of fixing it.  I was simply using my computer before bed, and when I went to unplug the charger from the outlet…the entire charging part with the prongs literally fell apart.  I know that I am strong, but really?? The entire thing just completely pulling apart??

A couple of months ago, the original charger that I had gotten with my computer when I graduated high school (that was so long ago!) pooped out on me.  So, me being the cheap person that I am went on the internet and tried to find the cheapest apple charger that I could find.  I found one that looked good, had pretty good reviews, wasn’t very expensive and ordered it.  When it came in the mail I actually received two!  I was ecstatic!

Well, the first charger replacement that I used just stopped working for some reason about a month ago, so I had moved on to charger number two…then this happens!  So, I was a little bit stuck.

Because I use my computer literally every day, and I had a bad experience being a cheap skate last time I just sucked it up, went to Best Buy and bought the brand-spankin’ new $80 charger….at least it came with the extension cord portion.

At first, I nearly had a heart attack…$80 in one trip! But then when I thought about that this is something that I use everyday, that I want to last me for a couple of years…the $80 seemed worth it.

The charger works great, and hopefully will last me another 5 years!! I guess I learned my lesson when it comes to technology and trying to save a couple dollars.

Lunch

As I was packing my lunch and dinner for today last night, I was trying to figure out which bag I should use, when Kate (Brian’s mom) pulled out this baby…

That lunch box is about the size of my work bag, but it is great because I can fit all of my snacks, lunch, and dinner in there with room to spare!  Perfect!  I swear that Kate has a special little thing for every situation 🙂  Thank goodness!

Question of the Morning:

  • What do you pack your food in for the day??  
  • Or do you just purchase your food throughout the day??

It’s Already Thursday?! and Another Easley Recipe

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This has been one crazy first full week of work, and I cannot believe that it is almost Friday.  Eek!  Where did the week go?

I started this morning by teaching a full Body Pump class.  My dad came along to video tape it so that I could send it in for an assessment so that I can finally be OFFICIALLY certified.  It was only my second time teaching the full class, and while I made a couple of mistakes with my cueing, the girl who usually teaches the class told me that my coaching was strong, my technique was good, and that EVERYONE makes mistakes…even her, and she has been doing this for 5 years!!  So, I will have to watch the video and evaluate it before I decided if I want to submit it.

Then, it was time to hit the showers and get ready for work.  On my way to work I enjoyed another baked oatmeal.

For some reason, I didn’t think of it until just yesterday to make multiple baked oatmeals at a time.  It truly is a no-brainer idea, but I was literally making a baked oatmeal every single night.  Next week, I am going to make a bunch either in muffin tins or a flat 8×8 pan that I can cut into squares so that I have one less thing to prepare after I get home form work.

I then sat at my desk and started working.  I am enjoying the new job, but it is very hard to stay organized.  I am managing the sales of two different properties that are two different brands with two different systems and a different method of filing things…needless to say even for a person who enjoys being organized, it is confusing!

When noon rolled around, I was very happy for the lunch break.  Last night, I made a little experiment with egg whites, cottage cheese, and spinach.  I didn’t measure anything, but they turned out very tasty, so next time I will be more precise so that I can share!

Today’s lunch included a salad topped with leftover brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potato, bell pepper, tomato, onion, salsa and one of these little egg white muffins.  Yummm…

Tonight, after work I will be hanging out downtown for a bit so that I can teach a 30 minute abs class.  Although it will be a later night, I am looking forward to teaching 🙂

On that note, have an amazing Thursday, and I will leave you with another Easley recipe.

Reggae Blush Strawberry Cake Balls

These treats are truly delicious.  Using wine in the batter actually replaces the fat needed for baking.  By combining applesauce and wine, this treat will have less fat than adding oil and have a unique flavor that you would not taste by using a traditional cake mix with oil and eggs.  A special treat suitable for all ages!

What you Will Need:

Cupcakes:   

  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 3.9 oz box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup Easley’s Reggae Blush Wine
  • ½ cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 12 oz of white chocolate chips for dipping the cake balls
  • 1 cup Buttercream Frosting (recipe bleow)
  • 24 cupcake liners

 Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp milk*

Instructions:

Buttercream Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter for about a minute to soften.  Alternately, add in the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients.

*Only add the milk until the frosting is of the desired consistency.  You may need a little more, or a little less.

Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix at a medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the batter is smooth and thoroughly combined.  With an ice cream scoop, scoop batter evenly into cupcake liners.  Bake in the oven for 18 minutes, or until a clean knife inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, remove cupcakes from the liners and smash into crumbs.

 

Place the cake crumbs in a large mixing bowl.  Use 1 cup of icing (or if using store bought icing use 1 full container).  Mix until the cake and frosting are thoroughly combined.

Place in the fridge for 1 hour, or overnight.  Once cooled, remove from the refrigerator and roll into walnut sized balls.

Place the balls back in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.  Melt white chocolate.  Roll each cake ball in the white chocolate and place on waxed paper to harden.

*If making a half batch of cake balls, use 12 cupcakes and freeze the other 12 to thaw and serve for a  quick treat at a later date!

The Big Move

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Hello!!!

We are officially moved in!!

Now, we just have to put everything away in it’s new home 🙂

Friday night when I arrived home, Brian and I shared a glass of wine with our “last meal” at the apartment.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t anything super fancy, it was made up of a ton of leftover, and random produce in the fridge that I could easily get rid of.  But it still tasted good!

Brian was sad to leave.

We then worked through the night making sure all of the odds and ends were packaged up and labeled.  Then, the morning came, we put the finishing touches on packing and the movers arrived.

They had the place cleared out in an hour and a half!

We had a lot of heavy wooden furniture, tables, a bed, and a couch, and we thought that it would be safest if we hired movers (for us and the furniture!).  Brian and I had never hired movers before, but we now highly recommend it.  We decided to use Two Men and a Truck  simply because we had heard of them before and we had friends that had a good experience with them in the past.  Their slogan is “movers who care”, and they really do live by that.

I was so impressed with their speed at getting things into the truck (after all they are paid hourly!), the care that they gave our belongings, and their friendly personalities.  With each item that was large, they wrapped it in a blanket surrounded with a seran wrap type material to keep it in place.

They were so careful with things that could potentially get damaged.  For example, Brian and I had a lamp that was laying out for them to take.  The movers asked us to remove the light bulb and take the lamp shade ourselves so that nothing could get damaged.

Overall, I was very impressed.  It made the move smooth, easy, and quick.

Now, all we have left is the unpacking part.

After the movers got everything into the house, it was time for lunch.  I made myself a salad of spinach, romaine, broccoli, onion, tomato, egg whites (with cottage cheese in them), all topped with salsa and balsamic vinegar.  Very tasty.

After getting somethings in the kitchen put away, we headed out to a graduation open house for one of Brian’s cousins.  Of course, snacks were involved.  For me:  some veggies and dip, a pickle, a delicious purple iced sugar cookie, and some Reese’s Pieces.   I haven’t had Reese’s Pieces in a while, and I realized why I don’t buy them…they are addicting!  Brian and I kept going back for more, and we even took some “for the road” to snack on in the car 😉

We then came home, and got the clothing situation mostly organized and took a break to eat some of Brian’s dad’s homemade French onion soup and a side salad.  Delish….as I was eating it, it made me think of Christmas!  I already made the request to have this dish again during the holidays.

Today

Today, I woke up early, had some egg white oats with strawberries and a bit of peanut butter for breakfast.

Now we must finish the unpacking, organizing, and decorating…happy Sunday!

Feels Like Summer

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Yesterday truly felt like the first day of summer.  The weather was gorgeous without a cloud in the sky and enough heat to make summer dresses, sandals, and shorts a necessity.

After spending a few hours at the pool and packing up some more boxes, I headed to the grocery store to get ingredients for dinner and for meals the rest of the week.

When I was younger and living with my parents, in the summer we would LIVE by the pool.  Just basking in the sun all day.  We would then come in from the heat with our cheeks nice and rosie and Mom would have a delicious spread of grilled foods for dinner, almost always with a giant bowl of salad.  I was completely in the mood for one of those meals.

Being in total summer mode, I thought that my homemade black bean burgers, sweet potato fries, and a giant tossed salad would be perfect!

Caitlin was in charge of the salad.  Doesn’t it look beautiful!




The meal was fantastic and the evening was great.  It was a great last gathering at the apartment with good friends.  We just sat around, talked, drank wine and beer…sometimes those are the best nights.

Today

This morning, I actually slept in.  I woke up at about 7:45, and I must admit that when I saw the sun peeking through the windows I thought that I was late.  Luckily, I wasn’t!

In the spirit of summer, a giant bowl of plain Greek yogurt topped with frozen peaches and strawberries, 1/3 of a banana, and half of an apple with a couple of teaspoons of peanut butter to top it off.

It was delicious!

What a tasty way to start the day.

Question of the Morning:

  • What are your plans for the long Memorial Day weekend?
I will be spending my day laying in the sun!