Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lazy Saturday

Well hello Fall!  Half of me is very glad to see you and half of me is not ready yet for chilly temperatures!  I do love most everything about Fall.  I love breaking out my jeans, getting into my sweatpants and sweatshirts at the end of a long work day, the smells of food baking in the oven, all things pumpkin, football, hot tea, fires in our fireplace and the list goes on.

Today has been a rainy day here in Richmond.  It's been the perfect day to relax and watch football all day. I would have loved to be doing that, but my studying called.  I have about two more weeks until my big exam so I'm trying to push through till the end!  I had planned on going to the gym this afternoon with the hubs, but the plans fell through.  Instead...I made cookies.  I think you should make them too :)  They are so delicious and moist.  I love that they have whole wheat flour and no butter or eggs in them...not too shabby.  The almond extract in the cookies really shines will love these!

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. chopped almonds
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. almond butter
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 t. almond extract
  • 2 T. agave
  • ~2 T. almond milk
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8X8 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, oats, almonds and chocolate chips.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry and stir until combined.
  • Spread dough into bottom of pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until set and golden brown around edges.
  • Let cool before cutting into bars.

*On the menu tonight was veggie "sausage," oven roasted broccoli (yum!) and mushrooms mixed together and served over whole wheat pasta lightly covered in a light Alfredo sauce.  Mmm, mmm, mmm.  Hello Fall! 


Along with the pasta we had a side salad and fresh whole wheat bread.  Gotta have something to soak up that sauce ;)  Then of know what was for dessert.  The hubs has been out of town a lot for work recently, so it was nice to have a romantic dinner at home tonight ;)  Now, we are catching up on some football watching!

*Are you ready for Fall?  What is your favorite thing about Fall?  

Monday, September 12, 2011

The web is what you make of it

I came across this YouTube video recently and well, a few tears came streaming down my face. The video is about a father who uses the web to share memories with his daughter as she grows up. It was a weird kind of way. The Internet totally fascinates me. You can do SO much with it and I am just continually amazed. So much has changed in the past few years with Internet...some good things...some not so good. It is wild to think that our children will be born into a world of all things Internet. They will be so computer literate and we'll get laughed at because we grew up in the "olden days" where we didn't use computers very often.

What do you think of this video? I think it is sweet...but sometimes I just can't wrap my head around all that the Internet can/will do! Definitely a cool/different way to document a someone's life!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

My Mom made this dish a couple years ago and my husband LOVED it. He really wanted me to get the recipe from her so that I could make it. We both were craving it! Friday night after work I took charge in the kitchen and cooked this lovely meal. It was delicious! Served with brussel sprouts and fresh whole wheat bread...mmm...a great "Welcome to September and the beginning of Fall" meal.

Eggplant Parmigiana


1 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour (next time I'd try to use whole wheat flour)
2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (16-ounce) can tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup Burgundy wine (or any other red wine)
1 t. dried whole oregano
1/2 t. dried whole basil
1/4 t. dried whole thyme
1/4 t. garlic salt
10-14 slices low-fat mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 13x9x2 inch baking dish, combine the milk, egg and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil; gradually add the flour, beating until smooth. Heat 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the eggplant slices a few at a time, into the batter and fry in hot oil until golden. Drain well on paper towels; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the tomato sauce and paste, the drained tomatoes, wine, spices, mixing well. Simmer the sauce 10 minutes. Arrange half the eggplant slices in the prepared baking dish. Top with half the mozzarella slices. Spoon half the tomato mixture over the cheese. Repeat the layers. Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes; cut into squares to serve.

*Unfortunately this is not a week day quick meal to make. Be sure to make this when you have some time! It took me about 45 minutes to prep this dish, and then it cooks for almost an hour. It is worth it though!!!! Enjoy :)

Where we you?

Where were you 10 years ago on this day?

I was starting my first day of Freshman classes at Converse College (before transferring to Clemson) in SC. I was walking to my very first class of my college life and was so excited. As I was nearing the building that my class was in, the President of my college came up to me and shared the news. She was VERY upset and I sensed the feeling that what just happened was bad...really bad. Classes were canceled and we all gathered in each other dorm rooms glued to the TV. It felt like the world was ending.

Thankfully my parents still lived in SC at that time, so that afternoon I went straight home to be with my family. We had dinner and continued to watch the news. I was happy to be home with my family after such a devastating day.

Still praying for those who lost their loved ones and for all of the scars we still have because of this.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Productive Weekend

Happy Labor Day! The hubs and I had a great productive weekend. It was so nice to be home after a few weeks of traveling to get things done around the house. Daniel and his brother did some great house projects, our new couch was delivered (pics to come soon!), I got some good studying done, I cooked/baked a lot and we still had time to relax. I love having a three day weekend! I will leave you with a few yummy recipes from the weekend...

Corn Dip appetizer

2-3 fresh jalepenos, chopped (just depends on the crowd and how hot they can handle; 2 is safer)
8 oz package of fat-free cream cheese, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 stick of butter, cut into smaller pieces
1 package of frozen corn

Add it all together, pop it in the oven at 350, and just stir it occasionally. It takes 30-45 minutes if you just heat it in the oven. I usually give it a jumpstart and microwave it for 5 minutes and then let it finish heating through in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve with chips.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 11″- x 7″-inch pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and brown sugar. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until passes toothpick test. Cool completely before cutting.

*Eating one of these as I type this...umm, hello...these are AMAZING!!!! A MUST make!!!! They are not even that bad for butter, a touch of sugar, only one egg :)

Butter Bean and Quinoa "salad"
1 can of beets (if desired) rinsed and drained
1 cup quinoa – cooked according to package directions
1 can butter beans – rinsed and strained
1 shallot, minced
2 slices provolone cheese, cut up
1 tablespoon olive oil
high quality aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup unsalted walnuts, roughly chopped
salt pepper

Make quinoa. Mix quinoa with white beans, lemon juice, cheese, walnuts, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place quinoa mixture on plate lengthwise and top with beets in a neat row. Drizzle aged balsamic vinegar around plate (and some over beets if you choose).
*We had this for dinner tonight and it was delish and so filling!

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cookies and Coffee Cake

Another wonderful week of work and now it's Saturday. Horray for the weekend and especially for a long weekend!!!! :) My brother and sister in law came down from DC to help us with some house projects this weekend. They arrived yesterday afternoon and have already put a fan/heater in the bathroom and a recessed light in the shower. When I got home from work yesterday I went straight into the kitchen and began cooking. I was ready to make cookies and coffee cake for the weekend. I wanted to make pumpkin chocolate chip brownies, but Kroger was out of pumpkin. boo. Instead, I made these fabulous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. Needless to say, there are no more left now. After the cookies were made, I made a delicious Blueberry Coffee Cake. We all had bagels for breakfast this morning, so I'm thinking of having some coffee cake for dessert tonight since we are out of the cookies? I love that you can eat coffee cakes any time of the day! I wanted to make one that was somewhat healthier than the typical coffee cake. I think this is it!
Blueberry Coffee Cake Cake: 1 egg 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk 1/2 cup plain fat-free greek yogurt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 tablespoon baking powder Pinch of salt 1 1/2 cup blueberries (I used fresh but I'm sure you could use frozen too) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, and brown sugar until completely combined. Gently fold in the flours, baking powder, and salt until just mixed. Do not overmix or it will result in a tough cake! Fold in the blueberries. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Almond Crumble: 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup sliced almond 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until mixed. Sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or 30-35 minutes if using frozen blueberries), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and let cool for 10 minutes in pan before flipping onto a plate. Serve hot or room temperature. *I meant to add flax seed, but forgot. Next time I will do this.
The guys are making great progress with the house projects. I spent the morning studying and now we are waiting on the arrival of our new couch. Soon my sister in law and I will head out for a little shopping. On the menu for dinner tonight is Cornell BBQ chicken, oven roasted potatoes, green beans and salad. I am going to make corn dip for an appetizer that is a great recipe from my other sister in law in Raleigh. I will post the recipe soon. Off to enjoy the weekend! :)