Wednesday, May 27, 2009

easy cheesy peasy

100_2898 Today was actually a pretty uneventful one, and I was happy to be able to drive straight home from work without any other pressing obligations to attend to.  I think this is the first time I’ve been able to do this since we moved!  This morning I decided to go to a spin class at 6 am to get my workout good and over with so I wouldn’t have to worry about it later.  Stats – Max HR 186 and 330 kcals burned.  The most I’ve burned in a spin class is 524 kcals and I was working my butt off.  I thought I worked a bit harder this time, but maybe I’m getting more efficient?  As an athlete it is actually better to have a lower VO2 max and burn less kcals than the person who has a high VO2 and is inefficient in their calorie expenditure, which can lead to fatigue.  Some of the best athletes have low VO2 values, but it can vary greatly individually.

For dinner I decided to use up some of the extra roasted veggies I made for the quinoa-crusted frittata and made falafel naan pizzas.  Usually I like to stuff everything into a pita, but I had some of TJ’s garlic naan on hand and thought it would be a great vehicle.  That naan is so good!  It gets toasty on the outside and doughy on the inside with a nice garlic flavor.  They have many flavors too and I’d like to try 100_2894 the curry flavor sometime.  I also stumbled upon this white bean and basil hummus and wanted to try it for something different.  It was actually really good and has a bit more tang than your average hummus, and the basil flavor wasn’t too strong.

On to the recipe . . . 

Falafel Naan Pizza

For the Falafel (this time around):

  • 3 garlic cloves, whizzed in the food processor
  • 1 slice stale bread, 2-3 tbsp quick oats whizzed too
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • garam masala, coriander, sumac, cayenne, salt and pepper
  • handful of spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil to bring it all together

Form into patties and sauté until golden on a large non-stick pan drizzled with a little olive oil.

To assemble the pizzas:

100_2895 Start with your naan base, slather on a bit of hummus, top with various roasted veggies, then a couple falafels, tomatoes and a sprinkling of low-fat cheese.  Broil until golden and cheesy!  I like to dollop a bit of non-fat greek yogurt on top.  I had to eat this more like a falafel tower rather than a pizza, but it was really filling and was a flavor explosion in the mouth with all the seasonings. 

This recipe is very versatile of course . . . I’m thinking of trying a Mexican-style naan pizza next time with ground black beans, taco seasonings, lime, etc . . . mmm!


  Gotta love that Greek yogurt!


100_2901 I am loving the fruit in season right now and I picked a good watermelon the other day.  Such a refreshing treat!  After dinner I had a ramekin full (plus a few more steals from the Tupperware) and then went for a nice 40 minute walk around the neighborhood.  I love going for walks!  It’s nice to just take deep breaths and clear my mind.  I myself prefer walking to running.  I don’t know what it is, but I am just not a runner.  I think I get bored, and being a dancer I’m used to taking class and doing multiple, different movements.  I tend to stick to the classes at the gym for my usual workouts.  I think it helps when I have someone yelling at me to push harder, ha!

Hope your week is going well!

Are you a runner?  What do you like most about your personal exercise routine?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

hello kitchen my name is . . .kristen

100_2889 After eating out too much, searching for any kind of coupons we could find, and scrambling to make random things to eat like peanut butter and jelly and cereal for dinner throughout the moving and transformation process, I missed cooking terribly!  This past weekend, and starting now, I feel like I’ve gotten acquainted with my new kitchen . . . finally!  And I think we are actually going to work well together. 

My new kitchen isn’t gi-normous, but it is pretty efficient for an average kitchen.  I have a good amount of counter space to work with which is near the gas stove (it doesn’t heat the whole house . .yay!) and garbage can, so I don’t have to move too far to get things.  I am loving the pantry and new fridge space too!  We actually have some shelves in the fridge that are still empty.  Definitely beats the packed freezer, stacked just right so everything didn’t come tumbling down ha!  When I look around at ‘our’ house, I get smiley to think that I actually have a house.  It’s really weird to me actually and I’m still getting used to the idea. 

I have to say that there are definitely many surprises to home ownership, and not a day goes by really when something new doesn’t come up that needs to be done, fixed, changed, bought . . . and bought again!  I swear there is always something to buy and I’m wondering where the heck the stimulus money went?  The other day the medicine cabinet fell out of the wall and shattered everywhere.  Well, there goes another 100 bucks!  We’ll have to slow down on our projects now, but everything feels settled and livable.  The painting is all done except the guest room, laundry, molding and touch-up!  Let the saving and frugal decorating begin!  We still have to get a dining table and I also bought some drapes on sale.  It’s coming together and it feels good to see a little, yes little, lull in the future :)

Chris and I went on our first bike ride from the new place the other day and there are tons of bike paths to choose from!  We are so happy to have such easy access to them.  Our other place was right off a busy street and shopping centers.  While the shopping was very convenient, it wasn’t very pleasant on a bike to get to a decent path away from all the traffic.  Yay for long bike rides!  

100_2882 I’ve been wanting to make Gina’s Granola recipe forever now because it looks like just the kind of granola I like . . . nice and crunchy, stuck together in chunks, almost like a bar.  And let me tell you it was all that I thought it was going to be . . . perfect!  I actually baked it in too small a pan, so I crumbled it on a cookie sheet and baked it some more.  Then I made the mistake of going to the garage to organize and I forgot about it!  It got a little toasty, but it was still oh so good.  I had to restrain myself (and Chris) from devouring the entire batch.  I think I will make a double batch next time so it will last us at least a week.  Wow, thanks Gina!  I’ve been looking for a granola recipe that is like Bear Naked that won’t break the bank and I’ve finally found it.   

100_2888 I also decided to make a quinoa-crusted friquisha.  I call it friquisha because it’s a cross between a frittata and a quiche.  The filling is very versatile and you can practically add anything you have on hand to make it your own.  I like to roast a bunch of veggies and then I have some leftover for other meals during the week.  Paired with a nice side salad, this is a refreshing twist on dinner that can also work well for brunch or breakfast on the go the next day.


Quinoa-Crusted Frittata    


For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan 
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper, all-purpose seasoning 

Preheat oven to 425.  Boil the broth or water, add the quinoa, simmer and cover for about 12-15 minutes until tender.  Let cool slightly, add parmesan, egg, cheese and seasoning and mix.  Place into a 9-in pie plate (I use silicon) and bake at 425 for about 10-15 minutes until firm and golden.

For the filling:

  • 1 cup egg substitute
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup non-fat half-n-half or milk or greek yogurt
  • 2 apple chicken sausage links (or your fav), chopped and sautéed in pan until golden
  • various roasted veggies (I used zucchini, sweet taters and mushrooms at 425 for about 30-40 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar
  • crumbled herbed goat cheese (I used TJ’s brand)
  • salt, pepper, all purpose seasoning

Simply mix the egg sub, eggs, half-n-half, goat cheese and seasonings in a bowl.  Put one layer of veggies, sausage and cheddar down over the crust, and alternate with the egg mixture.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 350 and bake for another 25 minutes depending on your pie size until golden and poofy.  Enjoy with a nice side salad!


100_2893 For dessert, I had some angel food cake and some strawberries.  Although some vanilla ice cream would have been nice, I topped it with a dollop of TJ’s greek honey yogurt.  Yum!  I could only eat 1/2 of this and Chris took the rest.

There will be a surprise coming to us on Sunday, a new little visitor . . . stay tuned!

How do you cope with the stresses of work, school, life, moving or whatever it may be?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

just about done . . . well almost . . . and giveaways!

Well we moved in two weeks ago on Friday and it’s just starting to feel like a home!  This first time home ownership, do-it-yourself stuff is not for the faint of heart.  It’s a lot of work!  I truly admire those that do this kind of work for a living.  We’ve been busy and yet it still seems like there is so much more to do.  I am a list writer and I have lists and lists of things to buy, things to do, things to plan . . . Definitely won’t be bored anytime soon.

We haven’t made much more progress on the painting, but are having the professionals come back out this Saturday to finish our master bath, guest bath and powder room.  After that we just have the guest room, laundry room and molding to paint and touch-up.  We ended up having to buy a new 100_2852 fridge because the stink just wouldn’t come out of the other one, it was icky!  The new one is amazing; I’ve never had a fridge like this before.  A dining room table and a bedroom set for us is still on the list.  We are going to go look at a couple furniture outlets this weekend and I also saw a nice table at Big Lots that we really liked.  The budget is surely dwindling! 

Warning:  Installing your own laminate “easy floating lock-in” floor is NOT easy, I repeat is NOT easy!  Making all the cuts was the hardest part.  The hammering in the boards wasn’t too bad, but my knees and joints didn’t like all the floor action.  Ouch!  I felt like an old lady afterwards even with knee pads.  But, it’s pretty much done, and after 500 sq ft. and 20 hours of hard work it looks really nice.  Woo-hoo, we did it!  We still have to put all the base boards back on and get all the thresholds to make the transitions from tile to laminate much smoother.  100_2865Sometimes I wish I could afford to be a not do-it-yourself-er!  But, Chris was on his high horse feeling like a manly man.  I just wanted to get it over with.  I may be smiling, but I’m really thinking . . this sucks!  What did I get myself into?  When is this going to be over?  Get me out of here!

Here are some pictures!

Where did all the carpet go?


There it is!  I see a couple loads to the dump in our future. 100_2858

Swimming pool floor . . . this is the moisture barrier. 100_2859 100_2864

Chris made all the cuts, and re-cuts . . . 100_2868

Lots and lots of measurements . . . carpenter squares are amazing and a must-have.100_2869

 Lots of saw dust and dirt . . . 100_2875


Finished product so far . . .  Lots of decorating to do.  Gotta love the 19” TV that my friend let us borrow.  I have to wear my glasses to see it haha.  A new TV will be way down the road.


Why hasn’t the dining table and drapery fairy visited yet? 100_2879

Also need a couple large area rugs . . . those are so darn expensive! 100_2880

I have made it to the grocery store finally.  We’ve been eating out way too much.  There is also this self-serve frozen yogurt shop somewhat near our house where you can put on all your toppings and then they weigh it . . . this is sooo dangerous and sooo good!  I seriously have to hit myself to keep me from going there every day!  It’s that good.

I made a really easy pasta salad the other day, and it was just the thing in this heat and with working our butts off. 

Here’s what in it . . . sorry no specific measurements.  These kind of things I just throw whatever sounds good, or whatever is in the fridge, into it and it’s different every time!


  • Orange and Lemon Juice + zest of both
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper and all-purpose seasoning like Mrs. Dash
  • Dijon mustard
  • rice wine vinegar (sweet tang)


  • 1/2 box favorite pasta shape
  • shredded chicken breast
  • bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • grapes
  • artichoke hearts
  • green onions
  • toasty walnuts
  • goat cheese (it gets melty from the pasta and makes a creamy sauce by itself!)

So refreshing!  I also like to put it atop a nice bed of romaine lettuce or spinach. 


Here are the winning numbers randomly generated for the EatingRD survey giveaway (finally!) . . .

  • 13 - Sweta
  • 11 – skibum40
  • 10 – sorensenjamie
  • 12 - mdwyer1970
  • 6 – willsmj                  

Please e-mail me at and let me know your contact information and whether you would like a 1GB flash drive or 5 iTunes downloads.  Congrats!  

I hope you all haven’t forgotten me and I really appreciate all your kind words and compliments with the house.  Hopefully I’ll be getting back to regularly scheduled blogging pretty soon.  I sure hope you are having a wonderful summer (if it’s summer where you’re at yet) and the sunshine is making you happy happy!

What’s your favorite part about summer?


Monday, May 4, 2009

slowly but surely


Well, things are finally starting to come together!  I won’t lie, I’ve been stressing these last few weeks.  We still have yet to pack and move, but we are hoping to get everything moved by this week . . . eek!  I’m so sorry I’ve been lacking in the blog postings something terrible.  There has just been so much going on, I had to set priorities with myself.  I can’t wait to get settled and have time to relax and blog this summer.  I’m not going to be taking any summer school, so that will be nice. 

I finished my finals and now am concentrating on getting things packed and ready for moving.  It’s hard trying to move when you have to do it after a full day of work, but it’s getting there!

We still have to finish painting the master bath, laundry room, powder room and guest room, along with touch up, but those will have to 100_2817wait till after we move in.  We’ve got the majority of it done and I had the professionals tackle the high staircase and hallway, thank goodness!  They were life savers.  We also started (with the help of my dad) on the crown molding and hope to have that done by tomorrow?  We also picked up our laminate flooring and want to start that in a couple weeks.  So much to do!  Man, and I thought this place was move in ready!



Here is the master looking into the bath.  The colors seem much brighter on the camera in the light, but are a bit darker and richer.  Still have to paint the bath the same color as the staircase/hallway.


Here’s some of the beginnings of crown molding.  Sorry for the poor quality, it’s from my phone :(  It sure is amazing what crown molding can do to a room!


Here’s Chris with the flooring, I think it will look nice!


I’ll be posting more (and better) pictures when we get closer! 

I now have a © logo thanks to the talented designers at Canyon Creative!!!  Hopefully, we can get this incorporated to the new site and get it up and running this summer.  What do you think? 


I’ve been cooking (uh em . . throwing together) a lot of quick and easy things these days, like tacos, annie’s mac and cheese, frittatas, anything I can find in the back cupboard, etc.  And we’ve even sneaked in a few eating out occasions with coupons if we can help it.  I have to get a ton of gifts for everyone that have helped us and continue to help us through this process.  It’s amazing how a few extra hands can make all the difference.  We are so thankful. 

Well, I better get to packing and hopefully when you hear from me again we’ll be moved!  I’ll also be posting the 5 winners to the giveaway.  Yay!  Hope all is well in your world :)