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Like Me? Then “Like” Me!

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Last night, I made a deliciously simple meal that was nearly made of all local ingredients.

The wine was from Easley Winery, the main dish was a U-Relish Farms crockpot meal (review coming soon!), and the salad…well it came from the grocery store.  But even still the salad, crockpot meal, and wine were the perfect end to a long work day.

Like Me?

Having this blog is great because the blog time is like “me time” and I am really able to focus, write down my thoughts, get creative, and do things that I truly enjoy.  One of the great things that I love about the blog is the opportunities that it gives me and the people that it allows me to meet.  I know that I am only getting started and there is so much room for me to grow, but I continue to want to sink my teeth in and bite off more and more projects that allow me to promote a healthy lifestyle, experiment in the kitchen, meet people with similar interests, find new ways to be active, and learn new lessons.

As I have recently been researching more opportunities for me to “put myself out there”, I have come across a small obstacle.  Some promotional opportunities require a certain amount of Facebook “likes.”  Currently, I am at 89 Facebook “likes.”  Here is where I need your help.

I need your help to get me to 100 (or more!!) Facebook “likes!”

In order to make this a little more fun for you, (and for me ;)) I am going to host a contest through Saturday morning.

The prize:  Grocery List Consultation Evaluation

As a young professional and recent college grad attempting to eat a healthy diet on a dime I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to saving money on quality ingredients.  I will look at what you are doing now, listen to your goals about where you would like your budget to be, what changes to your current food intake you want to make,  and look at potentially new foods you may like to try.  I want to help you save money and show you some healthier alternatives to current foods you may be eating because healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive or out of your price range!

Previously, I did a Clean Shopping On a Budget Series, and in the past year I have learned even more tips and tricks of the grocery shopping and healthy eating trade.  To check out the series, click on the links below:

The consultation and evaluation will include:

  • cost saving tips and suggestions
  • coupon sources
  • healthy food swaps
  • meal preparation tips
  • anything else you may need help with!

In order to enter this contest simply “like” my Facebook page, and comment down below on this post letting me know that you did!

It won’t take many to reach the 100 mark…so let’s see how far we can surpass it!

Summary

What:  Contest to get 100+ Facebook page likes

Prize:  Grocery List Consultation Evaluation

When:  Now until Saturday, August 11 at 9am

How:  Like my Facebook page and comment below telling me that you did

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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!

Buckwheat Pancakes with Easley Orchestra Red Blueberry Sauce

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I started out this morning with another bowl of baked oatmeal.  Today, I added some peaches in the mix to make it a little bit like a peach cobbler.

Delicious, and easy to eat in the car.  That’s all I ask for.

Wine Recipes

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned on the blog that I was working on a “special project.”  I was pretty vague about what I was doing, but I can finally talk about it!

About a month ago, the Brand Manager of Easley Winery, a local Indianapolis winery, contacted me via facebook saying that he stumbled across my blog as he searched the internet for pictures of the winery.  Last summer, Brian and I visited the winery and had a delicious and fun experience, I blogged about our tasting adventure and that is how he found my Treble in the Kitchen site.

On their site, they have a “Cooking Made Easley” section that showcases simple and delicious recipes that feature the Easley wines in the ingredient list, and he asked my to contribute!  Of course I was more than willing to start experimenting in the kitchen, and the end result of all my concoctions were delicious.

When brainstorming what to make, the first thing that popped into my head was a blueberry red wine sauce.  For me, when I think blueberries I think pancakes.  Growing up, blueberry pancakes were made as our big Saturday breakfast, and I looked forward to them every single time.  I decided to put a little twist on traditional blueberry pancakes by utilizing a nutty buckwheat flour that is high in fiber, minerals, all 8 amino acids, and is rich in flavonoids (which are super strong antioxidants!).  The end result had even Brian asking for more.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Easley Orchestra Red Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated cane sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Easley Orchestra Red Blueberry Sauce:

  • ¾ cup Easley’s Orchestra Red Wine
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

Instructions:

For the Pancakes:

Heat a skillet on the stove at medium high heat.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.  Once combined, add in the vanilla, egg, almond milk, and butter.  Stir until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Test the heat of the skillet by dropping small drops of water onto the skillet.  If it sizzles, it is the perfect temperature. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Place ¼ cup of batter onto the skillet.  Allow the batter to cook until the edges are dry (about 2 minutes checking frequently so it doesn’t overcook), then flip the pancake and cook about 1-2 minutes more on the other side.

Yields: 3 servings of two pancakes

Nutrition per Serving:  Calories—198.2  Fat—4g  Carbohydrates—37.2g  Protein—7.4g

Orchestra Red Blueberry Sauce:

Place the wine and sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Once the sugar is dissolved, add in the blueberries.  Bring to a boil.  One boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until ready to serve.

Yields:  10 servings of 4 Tbsp

Nutrition:  Calories—65.6  Fat–.1g  Carbohydrates—17.6g  Protein–.1g

Wedding Night Eve

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So, I guess I should have told you what I will be doing in my new “adult” job.  My official title is Outside Sales Manager.  I am working for a local hotel franchise, and will have a team of two under me.  The exact day-to-day is a little bit unknown to me, simply because I haven’t done it yet and there will be a lot of training at the beginning, but I think that a huge portion of my job will be meeting with representatives from businesses who are in need of hotel rooms for business travel situations and making them happy.   Sounds like something I can handle 😉  The great part is that I will still be teaching my fitness classes.

Last night, no one showed up to the spinning class that I was subbing for…so I decided to go shopping.  Or at least attempt to go shopping.  I was really in the mood for some new shoes or something, but nothing jumped out at me saying “buy me!”, so I went home empty handed and got dressed and ready to head out to Tastings, a little wine bar in Indianapolis.

It was a pretty chill night because today, two of our great friends are getting married!  We wanted to save any sort of shenanigans for the actual wedding…  I can’t wait for tonight 🙂

 

As we were taking a picture of the girls, Brian said we looked too posed…so he asked us to laugh about something.

We opted for funny faces instead.

It was a great evening spent with great friends, relaxing and low key.  Tonight will be a different story 😉  Let the celebration begin!

Apples, Hiking, Wine, and Eggplant

Today was the first full day of Brian and I’s get-away weekend in Brown County Indiana.

 

I started the day with a quick mile-and-a-half run followed by this at home, no equipment needed workout:

  • Squats
  • Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Wall Sit
  • Plank
  • Crunches
I did each workout move for 30 seconds then 45 seconds then 60 seconds.  After I finished the 6 moves, I did 10 pushups to get a bit of an arm workout in.  The entire workout, including the run took a little under 30 minutes for me to complete and allowed me to workup a nice sweat!
Breakfast
After my quick workout, showering, and getting ready for the day I had a delicious breakfast of peanut butter and jelly buckwheat and a mimosa!  The people who own the lake house that we are staying at gave us a bottle of champagne.  We drank some of it last night, but we couldn’t finish the bottle so Brian though mimosas would be the perfect way to finish it off!

 

Day in Brown County

After breakfast we headed to the Apple Works which was a you-pick pumpkin patch, bamboo maze, tons of baked apple goodies, and apples that you can buy (not pick sadly).

 

There were a ton of people and children there for a Monday.

Apple Works even had a petting zoo!

 

Brian saw this guy and he just had to feed him a little snack.

I know that you can’t really see in the picture, but Brian’s hand was literally covered in slobber…too much for my taste!

 

We walked around the orchard and found a sunflower field, but sadly all of the flowers were dead.  It was amazing to see how large the actual flowers were!  I can only imagine how pretty the field would be when the sunflowers are in bloom.

There were several choices as to which apples we could pick.  Luckily, they allowed us to taste several varieties before deciding on the delicious Fugi apple.  Sweet and crisp, so tasty!

We then headed to Brown County State Park for a picnic lunch of veggies, tuna, crackers, nuts, cheese, and an apple from the Apple Works.  We also shared a bottle of wine 😉  It was the perfect little lunch in such a beautiful area!

 

Wine and cheese please!

We then hiked nearly 2 miles around the lake and to the nature center.

Once we got to the nature center we found an outlook that was the perfect spot for a photo opp!

 

Brian gave the first attempt at setting up the self timer, and the picture didn’t exactly turn out ideal 😦

I set up the camera for a second try and it turned out great!

 

I had to get creative with what I set the camera on in order to get just the right angle including Brian and I along with the beautiful background.

This is what I set the camera on

 

We then headed to Nashville, IN to hit up Chateau Thomas Winery and Brown County Winery.  We ended up taking a bottle home from each!

 

When we got home, we tried out the plum wine from Brown County Winery with dinner.

Tonight’s dinner was eggplant parmesan with blanched broccoli, a special request of Brian.

Now, we are just veggin’ in front of the TV watching The Sing Off and resting up for our day tomorrow 🙂

 

Herbs and Tastings

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The one thing I love about going home (ok there are plenty of other things I love about going home) is all of the goodies I get to take with me!  My mom gave me a bread-maker (I can’t wait to use it!), a TON of splenda, some sugar free kahlua flavored syrup, and some cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans from the garden!  I think that is my favorite part of summer, food from the garden.

Mom gave me some herbs!

She also gave me some herbs!  She has chives growing out the wazoo and she also gave me some parsley.  Mom gave me the chives with all of the roots hoping that I would plant it in a pot, but I don’t have a pot to plant it in, so I cut the roots off 😦 I do plan on planting the parsley after it grows some roots.

After coming home, I checked on the basil that I took from Kelsey a week ago and there were plenty of roots!  So, I decided it was ready to plant.

Parsley with no roots...yet!

Planting the basil

 

The basil is planted!

I stuck my parsley in a jar of water and I hope that in a week it will be ready to plant too!  I planted parsley and basil seeds around a month ago and for some reason they just didn’t take.

Parsley with no roots...yet!

Parsley with no roots...yet!

For dinner, I wanted to make something quick so I made Morningstar Farms Spice Blackbean Burgers and put them in a La Tortilla Factory tortillas with some corn and blackbean salsa, romaine lettuce, red onion, tomato, and sriracha.  On the side we had roasted green bean fries.  It was the first time I had made them and I will definitely be making them again.

I started by snapping off the ends that were attached to the plant and rinsing them in water.  I then tossed them in nonstick cooking spray and seasoned them with spud spice and salt and pepper.  I then put them in the oven heated to 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  At 10 minutes, I turned them over and cooked them for 10 more minutes.  They were the perfect side!

Black bean burger wrap and green bean fries

After dinner, Brian and I met up with some friends for drinks at a little wine bar. Our friend Caitlin and I enjoyed a glass of Moscato.

We really enjoy sweet, crisp, and refreshing wines, but we both decided that we are going to work on enjoying red wine more.  😉  For some reason, one of the servers at the bar really liked our table and kept offering us free wine…we did not refuse!

It was a great evening out, but tomorrow Brian starts school so we have to get ready for the week!