Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012.

i hope you all had an amazing holiday celebrating Jesus' birth (if you celebrate)! i had a wonderful time with my family.

my Christmas Eve was full of the usual traditions, which i love!

pictures with Santa... at 18 and 20 years old. we're just cool like that. ;-)


lunch at in-n-out with daddy


and then my brother and i baked a batch of my grandma's sugar cookies - they're the best sugar cookies in the world! they disappeared so fast that they evaded my camera.

after that i went to church with the fam


and then we came home and had our (unpictured) traditional crackers + cheese + meat tray for dinner!

Christmas morning was i was up bright and early to get cooking on a special breakfast. i LOVE breakfast so Christmas morning breakfast is always one of my favorites! i made Martha Stewart's Mushroom-Cheddar Fritatta with a few modifications. since my dad & brother aren't so keen on broccoli in the morning, i split the recipe into two square pans and put all the broccoli on my side. i also added 2 eggs and 4 egg whites, and 1/4 cup milk to the egg mixture, as well as crumbling in a few pieces of bacon into each pan.


they turned out really well (minus being *slightly* overcooked - while they were baking i was working out in our little home gym with my momma so I didn't pull them out quite on time)! we also had Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and pigs in a blanket - Christmas morning staples in our house - as well as pomegranate arils and OJ.



not to mention this bomb-diggity coffee creamer... the stuff is so good!


after breakfast it was time to open stockings, which is what i was most excited about because this year i was in charge of the stockings. my family has always had most food-based stockings so i had a ton of fun shopping and picking things out for everyone - food shopping is the best! 

everyone loved their stockings & i'm quite excited to dig into all of my goodies. lots of nut butter, protein bars, coffee, chocolate, granola, TJ's treats, and a few other things! 


after stockings we opened some presents and then headed over to visit my grandparents in their assisted living home. [insert yogurt + granola snack here] we chatted with them and my aunt, uncle, and cousins for a few hours and then made the drive back home to finish up presents. 

[insert leftover fritatta and baked pumpkin oatmeal here]

i think one of my favorite presents was the cat toys we got our kitties because watching them go crazy was hilarious! 



some highlights of my Christmas were getting a baby coffeemaker for my dorm room (so excited about this, even though it's not exactly allowed ;), a replacement iPod shuffle for working out, some new music, a few cute tops, and workout gear from Lululemon! my mom picked out a few things for me (run for your life crop, heart opener tank) and i had picked out a pair of wunder under pants because i've been oogling those for a long time. i'm currently wearing them and they're so unbelievably comfy i don't think i'm ever taking them off! i also got this awesome water bottle:


if you can't read it, the back of the water bottle says "because i like muffins (not muffin tops)". makes me laugh :) 

after we finished up presents, it was time for dinner! my dad smoked a turkey (he makes the best turkey, hands down), i made mashed potatoes and gravy, and my mom had made my grandma's homemade rolls. these rolls are my kryptonite. but seriously. i have never had anything that compares - so fluffy and doughy and just freakin delicious. 

no room for veggies on my plate because a) i was too lazy to make them and b) i needed more room for extra rolls in my tummy!


just look at that fluffy deliciousness! 
my plate:

plus three more rolls because they're just THAT good. hey, i only get them once a year, so it's go big or go home! 

i also had some see's candy and a small bowl of ice cream for dessert because no day is complete without dessert in my world. 

& in the spirit of WIAW (and since i have some eats i haven't gotten the chance to show you guys yet) i thought i'd share some yummy eats from the past few days. 


salad with rotisserie chicken, lentils, mushrooms, and white bean hummus
vitality bowl (acai strawberry banana smoothie base topped with granola, strawberries, and bananas)
starbucks gingerbread latte... times like 10. these are so good!
quinoa, lentil, and broccoli bowl with cheddar and parmesan
bowl of ice cream while watching a Christmas story
amy's vegetable barley soup bulked up with spinach, quinoa, and cheddar cheese
a huge froyo while out shopping. marshmallow & cookies and cream flavors with graham crackers. HEAVEN.
homemade cheese ravioli (with mushroom and alfredo sauces) that my dad picked up as a special treat! 
sticky fingers pumpkin scones with a drizzle of honey. 

today has been spent mostly relaxing, getting a good workout in (BodyPump and the stairclimber), and eating up delicious leftovers :-) later in the afternoon i'm going to go to the movies with my family!

what was a highlight of your christmas? 
favorite holiday treat?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIAW: Recipe Explosion

so remember how i told you that i'd have plenty of recipes for you when i got home for break? well, i've been cooking and baking like crazy ever since i got home! i'm pretty sure i've made a different cookie every day not to mention i've been cooking a few dinners for my family. i love having a kitchen!!


prepare yourselves.. cause i've got a lot of recipes comin' atcha!

first up: homemade pumpkin spice latte!
as you guys know i'm just a *little* obsessed with pumpkin at this point. i've demolished one of those huge cans of pumpkin in less than a week. and there's no signs of stopping.
this drink is really easy to make, and if you leave off the whipped cream it's vegan!


ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1 cup brewed coffee of choice 
directions:
  1. heat the milk, pumpkin, and sugars over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until milk is steamed and mixture is hot. 
  2. stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and remove from heat. 
  3. in two {large} mugs, pour 1/2 cup coffee, and then pour 1 cup of the pumpkin mixture over it. top with whipped cream (if desired) and an extra shake of pumpkin pie spice. 
up next: shrimp, brussel sprouts, and goat cheese pizza.
i made this for dinner a few nights ago and i can honestly say this is the BEST homemade pizza i have ever made. it doesn't take too long thanks to the premade pizza dough (i highly recommend using trader joe's - it never fails me!) 


ingredients:
  • 1 premade pizza dough (i used trader joe's whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder (you can omit the garlic powder if it's not your thang) 
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shaved brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (and salt & pepper) for sautéing
  • 1/2 pound frozen peeled cooked shrimp
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms + 1/2 cup water for cooking
  • 1/2 cup romano and parmesan cheese (i used a mix of both, but you can use whatever you prefer)
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
directions:
  1. preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. roll out pizza dough on a floured surface into a semi-round shape (as you can see i'm not too great at that). place on a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and brush the olive oil over the crust. sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and top with parmesan cheese. 
  3. heat a pan to medium heat and add the brussel sprouts and coconut oil. once the brussel sprouts are soft, add the shrimp and cook until shrimp are hot. season with salt & pepper to taste. 
  4. meanwhile, in a different pan, add mushrooms and water and cook on medium-high heat. cook mushrooms are tender (they will be a brown color) and set aside. 
  5. add brussel sprouts, shrimp, mushrooms, & parmesan and romano cheese to pizza dough. crumble goat cheese on top and bake for 10-15 minutes. 
and thirdly, parmesan kale chips!
i've never cooked with kale before but this was SO much easier than i thought it would be. the key is getting a bag of washed and chopped kale from trader joe's - it makes everything so much easier!


ingredients:
  • 1 bag chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
directions:
  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. spread kale out on a baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan, salt, and pepper. toss the kale around to make sure it's fully coated (i just used a pair of tongs). 
  3. bake for 15 minutes or until crispy. 
i have a few other recipes for you - a classic holiday shortbread recipe, my mom's sugar cookies, and a few more! so be on the lookout :) 

on another note... this girl just found out she got an A- in chemistry! to say i'm stoked is an understatement!! i have never worked harder in my life for anything and to see that it paid off makes me so freakin' happy. 


besides cooking and baking like crazy, i've been snuggling with these cutie pies LOTS and catching up on my TV shows. i've made it through 8 episodes of Once Upon a Time in 24 hours. hey, isn't that what break is for? ;-)



and this just cracks me up every time. i have the prissiest little chubby cat ever.


thought of the day: 

what's the best thing you've made recently?
favorite thing to do when you have free time? i love to read, watch TV, do my favorite workouts, cook and bake, and spend time with family and friends!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near.


praying for connecticut <3

***********************************************

 i'm finally home and i'm so, so thankful for my family and friends.


i've been enjoying my time at home so much. lots of TV watching, baking, dance partying, trips to the gym with my momma, running, and spending time with my family.



yesterday we went into the city - one of our christmas traditions!
i started the day off with some delicious caramelized pumpkin pancakes (with barney butter of course) and a kickboxing class at the gym.


kickboxing was followed my a green monster (AHH! my first one in months!) and a shower


and then we were on our way!

 

we dance party on BART. #normal


my city!


visited the kitties in the macy's windows <3


chipotle for lunch! i got a burrito bowl with brown rice, steak, black beans, corn salsa, and guacccc.


macy's!


we're kinda crazy. (:


 in front of the big christmas tree!


i love this picture! one of my mottos: life is better when you're laughing. 

and of the course the night ended with froyo on the couch and a movie with the fam!


today i had a yummy breakfast (1 egg and 2 egg whites with spinach, & a whole wheat bagel - half with butter and half with almond butter), went for a run with a good friend, and zumba'd with mom. 


my mom and i also made a ton of chocolate pretzels to give as gifts and i baked these amazing magic cookie bars (with dark, semisweet, & white chocolate chips, and almonds). 


we dance partied while the bars were baking! i love my mom so much. 


and now i'm off to enjoy some pizza and decorate the christmas tree with my family :)