Productive Morning

After a super lazy Sunday which included three episodes of Game of Thrones (season one), two episodes of Sons of Anarchy (season four), and a forty minute nap, I was feeling the need to be productive this Monday morning. As much as I enjoy being a piece, it brings me lots of joy to get stuff done in the morning.

We made it to the dog park, met up with my dog park friends (all of whom are over 60 years old – ha) and walked three laps. The dogs were ridiculously happy and got soaked from all of the dew.

Due to the wet and dirty dogs, I bathed both dogs! Moose is easier in that he somewhat willingly walks up the stairs I to the guest bathroom tub.

Frankie, on the other hand, fights the bath with everything he’s got. Weighing in at 90 pounds, I cannot carry him, so I dragged, pushed, and half carried him across the house and up the stairs.

But now they are clean and will be so much nicer to pet once they’re dry.

Speaking of clean dogs, yesterday’s Groupon was for something I have been wanting to get done for months: dog grooming. For $49, I got two grooming sessions for dogs over 30 pounds. I bought the Groupon, called immediately, and got them in for Friday. Moose and Frankie will be clean and pretty for our trip to Toledo this weekend.

A load of laundry got done (from said dirty dog baths).

Our new tv console from Pottery Barn was delivered – I love it!

It fits our new tv perfectly and looks great against our bamboo floors.

To prepare for the next three days of in-service, I brewed a pot of coffee for iced coffee. That old juice bottle now holds my iced coffee – it is a more manageable size for the fridge.

Because I work out in the morning before school (or at least I did last year and am hoping I have the motivation to continue it this year), I can’t make coffee every morning, and buying coffee every day is not worth it to me. Long story short, I made coffee.

I watered plants around the house. Don’t you love how peace lilies basically TELL you when they need water? They get all droopy, but once you get a little water in them, they come back within minutes. It is pretty much impossible to kill them.

I made a delicious and protein-filled breakfast. No picture was taken but I’ll give you the details: two eggs and spinach nuked in the microwave, in a Flatout light wrap with goat cheese and TJ’s fig jam. This will definitely hold me over until lunch.

All of this happened between 6:30am and 10:00am. On my schedule for the rest of the day? Work out, babysit, write a one-page research paper (assignment for curriculum project), and read Bodega Dreams (also for school).

Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
What’d you get done (or not done) this morning?

WIAW and Cherry Scone Recipe

Hi, friends!

Happy Wednesday, and of course, WIAW hosted by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons.  A big thanks go to her for throwing this party every week!

Like many other bloggers, I recorded my eats on Tuesday.

Breakfast at 7:00am

Per usual, I prepared overnight oats knowing I’d be running in the morning and be rushed to get out the door on time. My perfect combo: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk (coconut this time), 1/2 cup yogurt (plain nonfat), spoonful of chia seeds, honey, strawberries, shredded unsweetened coconut (new addition), and a spoonful of sunflower seed butter.  Iced coffee with coconut milk accompanied the oats.

Lunch @ 12:45pm

This salad included leftovers from the fridge (roasted curry cauliflower and chicken from the grill) and some fresh veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, and mushrooms). Topped with TJ’s spicy peanut dressing, this salad was delicious. I also had a dark cherry chocolate granola bar and watermelon. I restrained myself and did not raid my coworker’s chocolate and candy drawer. I would like to cut down on the excessive sugar in my diet and break my habit of eating chocolate after meals will help.

Snack @ 4:30pm

On Monday I made scones (recipe and photos farther down) and I was hungry after school and ate two. The first one I topped with a little sunflower seed butter. I always crave carbs after school – at least these have lots of protein in them.

Dinner @ 7:30pm

*I realize Moose and Frankie are not dinner; while looking for a past picture of naan pizza, which was likely taken on my iPad not on my camera, I came across this photo.  Such funny dogs.

I had prepped chicken and veggies for kabobs, but Brody had a rough first day back and had no energy to man the grill. The kabobs were put on hold (more time to marinate) and we fell back on the pizza we had planned on making another night this week. My personal size pizza included spinach, roasted red peppers, and cheese on naan. I ate half and saved the rest for Wednesday’s lunch. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I had more watermelon.

This was kind of a boring day of food and quite repetitive. Let’s hope for a more interesting display next week!

Scones. Buttery, flaky, not-too-sweet breakfast pastries. I had never made scones, but when I saw Janetha’s recipe for blueberry lemon scones that use Plant Fusion protein powder, I knew I would no longer be a scone-baking virgin.  Instead of stealing her recipes, please just visit her blog for the full deets.

Following Janetha’s instructions, I mixed the wet ingredients together and then the dry together.  I didn’t have blueberries or lemons, so I mixed it up and used dark sweet cherries (frozen, but I thawed them before mixing them in).  Besides the cherries, I made two other substitutes: 1) She used oat bran, and I am lazy…so I made oat bran by grinding up oats.  Is it the same thing?  I think it worked.  I am cheap, what can I say. 2) I do not have agave so I used honey.

After carefully kneading the dough, I used a rolling pin to flatten it and a pizza cutter to make the triangles.

I baked mine for about eleven minutes, but if I were to make these again, which I will be doing, I would leave them in for another minute or two.

I was very happy with how they turned out.  They’re not too sweet and have good flavor – you can definitely taste the protein powder but in a good way.  They were quite cake-like in consistency, and I wonder if baking them longer would’ve firmed them up or if I maybe overworked the dough.  As you can see on Janetha’s post, the stats are great.  I guess they’re not as good when you eat two… 🙂

Have a great Wednesday!

Rhabdo Update and WIAW

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!  It’s Wednesday but feels like Monday to me because I spent the last two days in the hospital with Brody.  Before I get to Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday, a quick update:

Brody’s CPK numbers continue to go down, and there is a very good chance he’ll be coming home tomorrow.  Last night, his CPK was at 54,000 and once they are below 30,000, he can come home!  I was able to come home yesterday because my kind, generous, amazing grandparents drove up to Antigo from Appleton, picked me up, brought me back to the Madison-area, and then drove back to Appleton.  Although I felt horrible leaving Brody up there, I needed to get back to work; with only a handful of instructional days left, I have a lot to do and teach still.  I will say it is strange to be in the house without the husband or dogs – it’s so quiet and lonely!  I’m excited for everyone to come home tomorrow.

Food.  I love it.  I don’t share a lot of my daily eats here, and that’s why I love participating in Jenn’s WIAW – thanks again Jenn!  Today I tried to focus on veggies and protein.  I think I succeeded – score!

As I got ready, I sipped on an iced coffee with coconut milk.  So refreshing!

The food portion of my breakfast included a bagel thin, half with cream cheese and fig butter and the other half with sunflower seed butter and homemade jam.  I polished off the fruit in the car during my drive.

I inhaled this yogurt and forgot to take a picture until it was in the trash.  There’s your proof: I ate a black cherry Chobani.

My mom had cooked up chicken and ground beef for nachos grande (basically loaded semi-healthy nachos) and sent all the leftovers home with me.  I made a salad with romaine lettuce, half a tomato, chicken, black beans, and salsa as the dressing.  It was yummy and very filling.  I also had an orange and a few mini-chocolate bars.

On my drove home, I ate red pepper strips (no picture: driving + eating + camera = accident).  At home I needed a little sumpthin-sumpthin to hold me over until dinner and ate the whites of a hard boiled egg.  This is unpictured because I forgot.  You all know what eggs look like, so it’s all good.
With Brody gone and no meal to cook, I decided to clean out the freezer and finish the meatless chicken strips.  They have decent stats: two strips (small, IMO) were 100 calories and 8 grams of protein.  I ate four with BBQ sauce and then one more with honey.  I picked up a bunch of veggies and roasted a red pepper, yellow squash, and onion.

I will definitely be having something sweet before I call it a night.  Whether it be more watermelon, a brownie cupcake (made by Mom), or both, my sweet tooth demands satisfaction.

Do you eat any meat substitutes?  How do you cook it?
What foods do you eat to satisfy your sweet tooth?  If you don’t have a sweet tooth, do you want to borrow mine?

I Drink, I Cook, and I Bake (other people’s recipes)

My food choices haven’t changed dramatically since stumbling into the blogging world, but I have found a plethora of resources (aka blogs) from which I refer to. Instead of turning to the cookbooks in the pantry, I find myself reaching for my iPad. Here are a few of the recent recipes I have made and the blogs they come from.

Iced Coffee from Carrots N’ Cake

I have always loved iced coffee but never thought about “making” it myself. Tina, from Carrots N’ Cake, has explained multiple times on her blog how she makes a big pot of coffee and keeps it in a pitcher in the fridge. Why didn’t I ever think to do this? A full pot (for which I use six heaping tablespoons of coffee) lasts me about five days and saves so much time in the morning. Even in the winter (which has been extremely mild this year) I have been sipping on iced coffee and enjoying it. The coffee above was bought to drink with dessert on Christmas; it’s been waiting patiently to be consumed while I finished off the DD pumpkin spice. I think I need a spring flavor next, like the DD strawberry shortcake.

Thai Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry from Skinny Taste
I’ve said it before, but I find Gina’s recipes delicious, practical for us, and easy to follow. This one did not disappoint either.

The recipe came together quickly – just a little stir frying…

And then this happened, and it was over before I knew it. Yummy! I did not add the hot pepper and forgot to add red pepper flakes as the substitute, so it was pretty sweet and could’ve used a little heat to cut the sugar. Next time, though, because I definitely plan on making this again. 🙂

Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies from Smitten Kitchen

Brody loves these cookies, and I did make them partially for him to enjoy. But I also baked them for Emily, one of the ladies in the Wine and Recipe Club. Last time we all got together, Emily was scheduled for her C-section four days later. I mentioned these cookies and Emily commented how fantastic they sounded. Last night, I hosted Wine and Recipe Night, and Emily brought little four-week old Ella along (I got to hold her…so little). I was happy to give her some cookies to bring home. With taking care of an infant and a two-year old, Emily has no time to bake. I hope she enjoys the cookies!
I follow the recipe to a T except I use fine grain sea salt on the top instead of flaked salt. I bake them for thirteen minutes but could (and will next time) leave them in for only twelve to ensure they stay a little gooey-er.
Please consider baking them this weekend and tell me what you think.

Happy drinking, cooking, and baking!