Tag Archives: Stewie

Puppy Playtime

4 Sep

My parents invited Chris & I up for dinner tonight & we happily accepted. It was also a good opportunity to get all of our dogs together for some puppy playtime!

Tonight’s menu? Grilled steak kabobs (with peppers & onions), potato salad & dinner rolls. I also brought my apple cake for dessert!

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My dad took care of grilling the kabobs, & my mom made the potato salad using a recipe from Kraft Foods Magazine. I ate most of my kabob (they were more filling than I expected), a serving of potato salad & two rolls.

One of the best things about my parents’ house is their large, fenced-in yard; this is especially important since we are surrounded by dogs! After dinner, we watched the dogs run around & play together.

Soon it was time for dessert, & I enjoyed my piece of apple cake ala mode (again!); this time with some fudge swirl ice cream – yum! I think this cake is even better a day later.

Now it’s time to relax for a little. Even though tomorrow is Labor Day, I’ll definitely be laboring – trying to get a jump start on the week ahead!

Hope you’re making the most of this long weekend!

Are you a dog person, or a cat person (or a fish/bird/turtle/etc. person ;-))? I think it’s pretty obvious where my heart lies. 🙂

Farmers Market Finds

26 Aug

Today is my last official weekday off before school starts. (Although we have next Friday & the following Monday off for Labor Day, so I can’t complain!)

So on my last carefree day, I decided to do a little back-to-school clothing shopping, then hit up a local farmers market. I had been to the Shillington Farmers Market once before, but on that visit I was there strictly for cupcakes. Today, I wanted to stock up on fresh fruit!

I was able to purchase 6 oranges, 4 Fuji apples, strawberries, 2 lemons (to use in a dinner recipe next week) & 1 avocado for $15.00!

I was a little shocked to arrive home from my errands & find this:

That would be a rather well-stocked fruit drawer! Chris usually eats a ton of fruit during the week, so I was surprised to see that we were actually good to go for a while yet.

What to do, what to do? I had recently won a giveaway on Chelsey’s blog for Clearly Fresh produce storage bags. According to the website…

“Clearly Fresh® bags are large clear zip bags (12” X 14”), with a breathable 3 inch square membrane on one side. Each pack contains 10 bags. These bags enable you to keep your fruits and vegetables fresher longer for less waste and more savings. Its large size, allows you to store an entire bunch of bananas or a whole head of lettuce with room to spare. PLUS the bags are re-closeable and recyclable.”

I packed up 2 Clearly Fresh bags with my extra apples & oranges, & I guess we’ll see what happens! 😉

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Backtracking to last night, Chris & I enjoyed another crock pot chicken meal that I’d like to share.

I modeled this dinner off of Campbell’s Slow Cooker Chicken in Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, but made quite a few changes (sun-dried tomatoes are kind of expensive, in case you didn’t know!).

Slow Cooker Tomato Artichoke Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken soup
  • About 1 cup white wine (I just “eyeballed” the amount I added)
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts (drained & chopped)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Basil

Directions:

  • Combine the soup, wine, garlic powder, artichoke hearts, & tomatoes in a slow cooker.
  • Add the chicken, & turn to coat the chicken with the soup mixture.

  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours (I did 8, but 7 would be plenty).
  • Serve chicken on a bed of brown rice, & top with extra soup mixture & basil.

This was a delicious & very filling meal. I actually couldn’t finish my portion, even though I really wanted to! (Stew wanted in as well!)

And I can’t forget to make mention of dessert – a peanut butter cup Blizzard from Dairy Queen!!! Heavenly.

What’s your favorite ice cream “treat”? Blizzards are pretty high on my list, but I love a good sundae too!

Three Easy Meals

25 Aug

With back-to-school on the horizon (I go back Monday!) I’m trying to build up my arsenal of quick, easy meals. Actually, I prefer that every meal I make is quick & easy, but it’s of the utmost importance when time is limited! Here are three easy meals I’ve made throughout the last week!

Stromboli

I saw this recipe for “garbage bread” on Courtney’s blog & decided to try it out for myself!

The most difficult part of this recipe for me was tracking down frozen pizza dough! I have no idea why it was so difficult to find, but I ended up finding whole wheat pizza dough at Wegmans.

First, I cooked up some fresh mushrooms, then chopped up some green pepper & onions to go inside our stromboli.

Before rolling everything up, I topped the pizza dough with some sauce, then piled in the rest of the goods.

Rolling up the stromboli got sort of messy. I think next time, I’ll concentrate the ingredients closer to the center of the dough! Next, I baked everything in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes!

  This was simple, delicious, & could make you feel like you’re eating a fun, “weekend” dinner any night of the week!

Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas have always been one of my go-to’s! In fact, when I lived on my own, it was something I made quite frequently, but usually I stuck to cheese quesadillas. These days, I realize how important it is to make sure I incorporate protein into my meals, so I’m not ravenous 30 minutes after eating!

First, I fired up my Crate & Barrel griddle (which has a completely flat surface on the other side; love that it’s double-duty).

I used leftover pulled chicken from our BBQ chicken, & started creating my quesadillas with a Wrap-Itz whole grain tortilla.

I layered salsa, shredded chicken, peppers, onions, & cheese, then grilled up the quesadillas to get everything nice & gooey!

I topped the quesadilla with some plain Chobani instead of sour cream. I loved that I could faintly see the grill marks on the outside of each quesadilla! 🙂

Trader Joe’s Lobster Ravioli (For One!)

Once a week, Chris & his band mates work on their music in a studio outside of Philly, which means I’m on my own for dinner that night.

While I’ve been trying to stay away from frozen/pre-made meals, I love Trader Joe’s lobster ravioli!

The list of ingredients is long, but at least I can pronounce everything! 😉

These cook up quickly – in about five minutes – & I like to top mine with vodka sauce & some parmesan cheese.

Something to keep in mind about this product, however, is the serving size. There was plenty for me to enjoy for dinner (served with a side salad), but there would definitely not be enough to serve both Chris & myself.

If you’ve made it all the way to the end of the post, I’ll reward you with this gratuitous picture of Stewie, resting on his new “birthday” toy. 🙂

Do you ever eat frozen/pre-made meals?

I’m Back!

15 Aug

It feels so good to be home & back to some sort of routine! 🙂 Chris & I had a great time on our honeymoon in Disney, even though the weather was very hot! I definitely plan on re-capping each day of our trip, but I wanted to get back in the swing of things with a “normal” post tonight. (Of course I’m going to do wedding re-cap posts as well, but I want to wait until I have our pictures to share!)

First thing this morning, I headed off to the gym. It’s amazing what a week away can do to you! Not only did I take a week off from exercise, but Chris & I definitely indulged in a lot of foods I’m not used to eating (for every meal anyway!) & so my workout definitely felt like a little bit of a struggle today. Tomorrow it’s back to BodyPump, & I can only imagine what that’s going to be like!

I had quite a few things to do around our apartment (hello, two weeks worth of laundry!) & errands to run, including a trip to the Social Security office to start the name-change process! Soon enough, it was time to start thinking about dinner…

It’s no secret that I love desserts & love to bake; that’s predominately what my blog’s been about up until this point! However, now it’s time for me to “step up my game” & start working on cooking real dinners! When I lived on my own before, I relied heavily on frozen, quick meals, & I don’t want to fall into that trap again. (Hey, they’re great in a pinch, but I don’t want to eat like that every night, or even a few nights a week for that matter.) For the next week or so, you’ll definitely be seeing me experiment with recipes from some of my favorite blogs. I actually looked up a ton of recipes as I was meal planning yesterday! I hope to be able to come up with some more “original” dishes soon, as I become more experienced in the kitchen!

Tonight’s meal was salmon with a quinoa salad side dish!

I saw this recipe on Gabriela’s blog the other day & couldn’t wait to try it out!

First up, however, was the salmon. I purchased a salmon filet at the store yesterday, knowing I’d eat a small portion & leave the rest for Chris! I lightly coated the salmon with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, & thyme.

Salmon filet      I let the salmon bake in the oven at 350* for about 20 minutes as I got to work on the side dish!

For those of you who don’t know, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a quick-cooking, gluten-free grain. I had read about it a lot in the blog world, but had never tried it before! I found it at my “everyday” grocery store, but tucked away in the health food section!

I had every intention of following Gabriela’s recipe exactly, & I did for the most part, but when I went to cut up my avocado, I realized it wasn’t quite ripe! 😦 I only tried avocado for the first time a few weeks ago, & I guess I need to familiarize myself with it better before cooking with it! Anyway, I decided to forgo the avocado & simply use the watermelon & lime juice!

As I started prep work…

Cup of quinoa!        My new husband cut up some watermelon…

Hi Chris!       And my pug napped…

Stewie    The salmon & watermelon quinoa salad turned out wonderfully! My first meal as a wife was a success! 🙂

Quinoa      Dinner is served!

Side dish       The meal       Fork-full of the good stuff!    Chris commented that he really enjoyed the texture of the salad. Quinoa has a very interesting “consistency” & paired with the watermelon, it was definitely something different & a much-needed change from our greasy food diet of last week!

We invited the pooch up for a family chat after the meal…

King Stewie      Hold me!

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading! I just realized I rambled on quite a bit, but I guess there’s a lot to say after being away for a little while! 🙂

What’s the last new thing that you’ve tried? Quinoa will definitely be making a repeat appearance in our household!

An Important Errand

25 Jul

I feel like every post from here until August 6th could be titled “important errand,” & it would be an accurate description of the post! All of those little things that we said “Oh we’ll do that later,” or “That’s a ‘last minute’ thing,” need to be taken care of – now!

Before I ran today’s “important errand,” I woke up & headed to the gym. I had a rather indulgent weekend – attending a wedding, going out to dinner, & enjoying takeout – so I wanted to get back into my normal routine first thing this morning.

When I got home from the gym, I whipped up some cherry-chocolate-walnut oats! I included the  same ingredients that I used in last week’s oats, but I added in some cherries.  Cait always makes the most delicious-looking breakfasts with cherries, so she definitely inspired this breakfast! I quickly “chopped” the cherries so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pits as I was eating; can’t have anything slowing me down during feeding time! 😉

Chopped cherries Toppings

I added chopped walnuts, mini chocolate chips, & chia seeds. I also enjoyed a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee on the side (seriously, someone enroll me in a 12-step program – stat!).

Close-up My obsession

Before I left for my “important errand,” I enjoyed BFL – breakfast for lunch. I didn’t snap any photos, because it was filled with my usuals.

I was all set to go & headed to Weaver Nut Company in Ephrata, PA (about a 40 minute drive for me). I had a very serious quantity of bulk candy to pick up! If you’ve planned a wedding recently, you might have some guesses as to what all of this candy is for!

Of course, it started down-pouring as soon as I arrived for my pick up, & continued to storm as I ran into the warehouse, then the retail shop, & my entire drive home… delightful!

Ominous sky!This place is the stuff SkinnyRunner’s dreams are made of:

Candy, candy, & more candy

After I weighed my car down with 30+ pounds of candy, it was time to head home. Luckily though, before I left, I spotted homemade organic peanut butter & grabbed some to add to my purchase! (I figured I deserved a little treat after driving there & back in a monsoon.)

I made it home, & unloaded my purchases:

Candy!Then it was time to dig into the peanut butter! I stopped myself from consuming the entire container by the spoonful & made a quick snack:

Homemade pb!  Delicious! Snack time Now, it’s time to work on some more wedding tasks & stuff for school. I’ll leave you with a few pictures of Stewie because, well, why wouldn’t you want to look at pictures of him?!

Close... Closer...

Closest!What’s your favorite kind of candy? I have to go with gummy sharks! (Do you all know what I’m talking about?) There may, or may not, be gummy sharks in some of those bags! 😉

Home Stretch

24 Jul

We’re in the home stretch of wedding planning, so expect to see a lot of wedding stuff on here in the next 13 days! 🙂

This morning began as all other Sundays, with church. Afterwards I had a few (wedding) errands to run… Target & Hallmark!

Last night, my mom & I ate at Applebees, & I had some leftovers, so today for lunch I had the rest of my quesadilla burger – a burger with Mexi-ranch sauce with pico de gallo & shredded lettuce. Served in a pepper Jack & cheddar quesadilla. I also had a few leftover fries on the side. It was pretty tasty, even if it was a day old! 😉

Leftover lunch Burger Next on the agenda was the seating chart.

Ready to organize For some reason, I’ve been dreading this task most out of everything that goes into the wedding. It wasn’t too bad, but creating an Excel spreadsheet & double-checking everything before we send it off to our graphic designer, Kristin, was a bit tedious. I’ll let Stewie sum up how I felt when all was said & done:

Playing dead        Rub my belly! Finalizing everything took a good portion of our afternoon, so when dinner time rolled around, my parents decided to order out from a local place. I saw baked spaghetti on the menu & thought it sounded interesting. A lot of places around here give you bread & a salad when you order a meal, so it turned out to be a rather large dinner.

Lots of food! I ended up eating a very small portion of the spaghetti & the entire serving of garlic bread (it was good!) & now I have leftovers to enjoy for lunch tomorrow! 🙂

Leftovers Now it’s off to go over my “to do” list for the upcoming week & hopefully relaxing for a bit.

Hope everyone has a good start to the week! 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to order for take out?

Chris’s Birthday Recap

15 Jul

Last evening, I headed to dinner with Chris & his parents to celebrate his 25th year!

We went to a local Italian place, Anthony’s Trattoria, which I love going to for the good food & atmosphere.

After dinner, Chris came back to my house for presents & his Boston Cream Cupcakes, which he really liked!

Phillies shirt     Game & DVD

Of course, Chris had a “helper” during present time —

Happy Birthday!        Too many presents!

This dog really likes to get in on the action!

After Chris was finished opening his gifts from me, I decided to do a few “pug lifts” to work off some of my heavy dinner! 😉

Put me down mom!     Mother & son!

Lifting 30 lbs. of pure pug isn’t easy! 😉 (Yes, he’s just a tad overweight, but remember what he looked like when I got him!)

I think Chris would agree that he had a great birthday!

Happy Birthday   **********

This morning I woke up a little later than usually (must have been tired from all the birthday fun!) but headed out the door ASAP because I had a lot of errands to run.

The bank, post office, jeweler, Ulta, courthouse, & Target were all stops on my list! I did some serious damage at Target, purchasing a bunch of “necessities” for the apartment (things like shampoo, cleaning supplies, paper towels, etc.). Then, I headed over to the apartment to unload the goods!

More stuff to unpack!   As I was working in the apartment, I started to get a bit of a headache so I headed home to nap with some of my favorite pooches!

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My mom offered to pick up dinner at Saladworks for tonight. I went with the Chicken Caesar – romaine, iceberg, chicken, homemade baked croutons, chopped eggs, parmesan cheese. I’m not exactly sure what the dressing was, but my mom said something along the lines of “light creamy Italian.”

It was pretty yummy, & I loved the roll on the side as well!

Salad    Salad    Salad

Off to enjoy my Friday evening; have a good one! 🙂

What are you doing this weekend?

Full House

11 Jul

We’ve got a full house this week!

Full House (source)

No, not that kind of Full House! This kind of full house:

Tobey Tyson Stewie

You see, Tobey is my parent’s boxer (& of course I consider him my boxer too!). We’ve had him since the summer between my junior & senior year of high school. If you notice in the picture, his tummy is a little “bulgy” & he isn’t in the best medical condition right now, poor guy. But, he loves to sit outside & enjoy the sunshine… even in the intense heat & humidity we’ve been experiencing in PA!

Next up is Tyson. Tyson is my sister’s boxer. We call him “Skinny Minnie” & I think you can see why from the picture above… he’s all skin & bones! He’s staying with us for the week.

Last is little Stewie who has been living at my parents house since I moved home last August.

It’s certainly a full house when these three get together! For the most part, they get along fine, but there’s a little friendly fighting that goes on as well. 😉

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This morning I headed to the car dealer bright & early to get my car’s oil changed & tire’s rotated… exciting stuff! 😉

I came home, did some work for school, then was off to the gym.

Today’s Workout

  • Arc trainer – 15 minutes
  • Elliptical – 30 minutes

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Last evening, I was reading Tina’s blog, & saw her recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The recipe was easy, & I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I figured I’d give them a go this afternoon.

I followed this recipe very closely, but here are the changes/additions I made:

  • Substituted 1/3 c. peanut butter for 1/3 c. almond butter
  • Added 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • Added about 1/3 c. chopped walnuts

Ready to mix Ready to bake!

I thought I’d have a few “baking assistants” but apparently something interesting was happening out back!

DoggiesThis cookies turned out great! Definitely a step up from last week’s “Magic Walnut Cookies” . These are very hearty, filling, & healthy-tasting, but still delicious! 🙂

Finished productI realize this is the third dessert recipe I’ve posted recently & I’m starting to think I should have named my blog “For the Sake of Cookies”! 😉

Now I’m off to keep a watchful eye over the pups!

 What’s your favorite thing to make for dinner? I need to change up the recipes on here! 🙂

The Waiting Game

8 Jul

I’ve become very good at waiting this week!

First, there was the furniture fiasco, which, by the way, has all been squared away! That required two days of me pretty much hanging out in the new apartment, waiting for time to pass.

Today, I had to wait for the cable & internet guy to come get us all set up. Thinking back, it would have been wise to get the cable & internet set up first to make the other waiting a little more bearable! Live & learn! 😉

Before heading to the apartment this morning, I made a quick pit stop at Target. I love Target & have convinced myself that there is some sort of hidden vortex at the store entrance that sucks you in & doesn’t allow you to leave without spending at least $20!

After purchasing my goods (yes, over $20 worth, so I was free to go!) I picked up an iced coffee at Starbucks.

Because neither Chris or I are really living in our apartment yet, we have no food & I need to pack my breakfast & lunch from home!

I enjoyed the iced coffee with a Thomas’ Cinnamon-Raisin English Muffin & a banana. It hit the spot!

Breakfast      Breakfast

I had a little more unpacking/dishwashing/laundry to do today, but we are pretty settled in. Now, onto the “cosmetic” stuff – curtains, wall decor, etc. And we need a new desk, too!

I spent a good portion of the afternoon organizing all of my school documents on my computer! I’m usually a pretty organized person, but things get out of control during the school year & I created quite a mess for myself!

I took a break for lunch & enjoyed pizza leftovers! My mom went out to dinner at a restaurant called Austin’s last night, & brought me back a personal flatbread pizza. I chose the Roasted Tomato & Basil – Thin crisp pizza brushed with garlic, topped with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes & basil.

Pizza Leftovers

Because I had quite a few samplings of yesterday’s “cookies,” I didn’t have much of an appetite for the pizza in the evening, which ended up being a good thing because the leftovers were pretty delish.

Eventually the cable/internet guy came, got us up & running, & I was free to go home to my little pug!

Stewie   Not quite sure what’s on the agenda for tonight, but relaxing sounds pretty good to me! Enjoy the start of your weekend! 🙂

Two Questions…

Leftovers – love ‘em or leave ‘em? I love leftovers! Easy, convenient, & sometimes even tastier the second time around!

Are you a patient person? I definitely am not!

31

6 Jul

Thirty-one days to go until the big day! Exactly one month from now, I’ll be married! 😀

Today started out a little later than usual. I slept until 9:00, which is the latest I think I’ve slept all summer so far. First thing on the agenda was taking the pooch to the vet.

Pug! No vet!    After that, I had to run a wedding errand – a quick stop at the bakery to get the details on our wedding cake! I found a picture on The Knot that we’re using for inspiration. I don’t want to give away details of the appearance, but the cake itself is going to be a mix of chocolate cake with raspberry filling & yellow cake with lemon filling… yum! 😉

After the bakery, it was time for some food! Today’s lunch was simple… half a peanut butter & jelly sandwich (yes, I’m 5!) with a blueberry Chobani & some leftover fruit salad (which I sadly think is on it’s last leg).

Lunch       Lunch

After a few other wedding “to-dos” & trying (unsuccessfully!) to figure out the furniture situation, I finally headed to the gym.

Since it’s summer break, I have really been enjoying going to the gym in the morning! It was difficult to drag myself there this afternoon, & it will be hard to start going in the evening once school starts again. I wish I didn’t leave for work at 6:30 every morning & could squeeze an early gym session in, but that’s not happening!

Today’s Workout

  • Elliptical (30 minutes)
  • Incline walking (15 minutes)

As I was working out (& watching Keeping up with the Kardashians reruns) I started thinking about what I wanted for dinner. Nothing from home sounded appealing, so I stopped at the grocery store for a salad. I’ve been trying to watch my spending on food, but was happy that this salad came in at under $4! Can’t beat that! 🙂

Dinner     In This Salad:

  • A mix of romaine, spinach, & (very peppery) arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Shredded cheese
  • Eggs
  • Southwest chicken
  • Crunchy noodles

I topped the salad with some fat-free ranch, which I wasn’t expecting much of & turned out not to be too bad!

Off to hit the showers & find a snack! 🙂

(Sort of Random) Question for Tonight: What’s your favorite reality show?

I just started watching Keeping up with the Kardashians a few weeks ago, & wondered why no one told me how awesome it is! I also love Big Brother which starts up again tomorrow!