Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our busy day..

I don’t know why we couldn’t be like other people and veg on a rainy day but it just didn’t roll that way today!

Between 8-11:30 we made (click the food names for link to recipes):

White chocolate, zucchini and almond scones 003
Zucchini-Applesauce Muffins 001
2 loaves of Nanas Zucchini bread 006
Rosemary and Oil focaccia bread that we snacked on all day..Sad smile my butt is bigger! 005
Zucchini Freezer Jam

Then David and Tyler went for haircuts while Emma and I went for Emma’s First Pedi!

After lunch and Emma went down for a nap the boys fixed a problem on the roof – yes rain and wind and David was on the roof.

I started cooking again!  I baked a loaf of regular bread for the family to have with the pasta dinner, then I made: .

6 Zucchini and roasted red pepper calzones 011
12 zucchini-corn-bread muffins 010

The sad part is that I still have zucchini.  I froze 4 bags of shredded zucchini (2 cups each) to make more of the above this fall and winter.  But I still have zucchini in my garden.  ugh I can not keep up!  I really need to start making sauce too we picked a lot of tomatoes yesterday.  Its 6pm I think I should quit cooking and fold some laundry!

Not a bad day!  Now if only Dunkin would deliver me some Pumpkin coffee!

Emma’s First Pedi!

What do you do in a hurricane?  You take your 2year old for her first pedi of course!! I  wanted to go yesterday, but the weather was so nice we went to Clinton for the art festival.


I didn’t know how she would do, it was close to lunch and she was ready for a nap.  We walked in and up to the color wall.  She is not like her mother, she made a decision right away.  I bright fuchsia with sparkles! I told her mommy needed to find a color too. She pointed to hers!  I said do you want mommy to get the same?  “yes;” She is messing with my fall colors!

She wouldn’t sit in the cute little butterfly kids chair.  So I put her on my lap to watch me get mine.  She was asking lots of questions and warming up to the girl doing my pedi! 


As “Lisa” washed my legs off before painting my nails, Emma stuck her feet into the spray!  She was getting into it!  Lisa then painted my nails, and we asked Emma if she wanted hers done. “Yes I pretty too”

Lisa painted her toes and even gave her a design like mommy!


Emma was so excited about her toes!  She made me wait an extra minute before putting her shoes on because her toes were wet.  She was blowing on them and waving her hand to dry them – it was really cute.

As soon as we got home she had to show daddy, who was excited for her! Then she showed Tyler, who really thought Emma was off her rocker, but a few hours later he asked more about what happened at the toe paint place!!

I know, I know this is the start of my Diva, I have myself to blame.  Last week I got her dressed, she went over to the mirror to check her outfit out.  Then turned to me and said “I CUTE"!”

Poor daddy! he is in for a ride!

Zucchini and roasted red pepper calzone

These are great to make now for those emergency dinner nights later!


You need:

  • 1 pizza dough ready to use
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 1.5 cups of shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water  beaten

I cut the dough in half so that I can make two calzones.  I roll each one out on a floured surface. 

Spread 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese on 1/2 of each rolled out dough's.  Lay the roasted red pepper over the  cheese.  I was able to cut up one whole pepper for each one.  Then I spread the shredded zucchini over the pepper and topped with mozzarella cheese.

Pull the dough over the filling and pinch closed with a fork.  Brush each calzone with with beaten egg mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 450. 

If you are going to freeze them let them cool, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil.  When ready to eat move wrapping and heat in microwave or oven!

More information can be found here!

you can change this up so easily – add spinach, use goat cheese, add mushroom.  So many ideas!

Zucchini corn bread

the last few years I have been making this.  I cook it now and freeze it.  I could make it in the winter but I freeze my zucchini in 2 cup bags so it hard to make this bc it only needs 1 cup.



All you need is:

  • 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of zucchini shredded
  • 1/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Spray non stick spray into 12-muffin pan and divide batter equally.  Back as instructed on the box for corn bread muffins.

These are great to break out when you are having chili! 

Zucchini Freezer Jam

This is so unhealthy – 5 cups of sugar.

I saw this last night while searching the web.  Strawberry Zucchini Jam using 5 cups of shredded zucchini!  I made Cherry zucchini jam!


  • 5 cups peeled and shredded zucchini
  • 5 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages cherry flavored gelatin
  • 1/2 package of Freezer Jam Pelican
  1. Stir the zucchini and sugar together in a large pot over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to boil, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and gelatin, and continue simmering 5 minutes more, stirring constantly.  It said this was a soft serve jam, so I tried to add 1/2 package of freezer jam pelican to try to thicken it up.  I think it helped but I will let you know.
  2. Ladle the hot jam into hot, sterilized freezer jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  3. It said it made 6 jars but I only ended up with 4.  And it was kinda sweet I may try it with 1 cup less sugar next time.  But think of all the flavors you can come up with.

Zucchini-Applesauce Muffins

I wanted to make a low fat muffin that I could put in the freezer and pull out as needed.  These were perfect!


¾ cup sugar
1 extra-large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heavy pinch salt
2 cups zucchini and/or summer squash, grated and squeezed of excess liquid
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

Heat oven to 350°F and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the squash, and applesauce. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and stir until just incorporated.

Using a spoon, distribute the batter equally among the cups. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the tin and allow to cool completely.

I may add raisins or nuts next time around.

White chocolate, zucchini and almond scones

Its that time of year again where you have tons of summer squash and have to start coming up with ideas for it!  This morning I started off with white chocolate, zucchini and almond scones.

I found this idea (here) for chocolate chip zucchini scones and used it as the base for mine!


Kristen’s Scones

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and diced in 1 inch pieces
1 egg
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt (or you could use buttermilk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest

1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup white- chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In large bowl mix dry ingredients together then cut in the butter and set aside

Whisk egg and sugar together in small bowl and then add zucchini, yogurt, vanilla and orange zest. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and gradually pour in wet ingredients. Mix all together, but do not over stir.

Spread mixture out on floured surface. Carefully knead while adding white chocolate chips and almonds, in handfuls at a time. You will only need to "press" mixture together for about 3 or 4 times. If you do this too much it will result in tough scones.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Challenging yourself

I have a new motivational blog at check it out. I am cheating a reposting todays post from there to here!  Enjoy!

Its so much easier to say “I can’t do it” then to put in the effort to try.  My accounting degree tells me:

doing nothing (effort)  + thinking about doing something (intentions) = Start tomorrow (lack of results)


The problem with “can’t” is it feels like shit.  The great thing about “doing” is how satisfying it feels.  When you do something you didn’t know you could do, its very rewarding.  You are proud of yourself and it increases your confidence to do more. 

Challenging by definition: requiring full use of your abilities or resources; "performed the most challenging task”

Challenging myself along the way has been a key to my success.  Moving up on KB weight, or trying a heavier one are great ways to challenge yourself.  Worse case you are unable to do it, so did you fail? NOPE!  Failing is defined as “unsuccessful in achieving one's goal.”  Because you couldn't press the red KB over your head today doesn’t mean you will not be able to do it tomorrow or next week or a month from today.

I have also challenged myself with food, to eat less, to eat better, to get over my Peanut butter addiction.  There are days (like today) where by noon I was at 80% of my daily calorie intake but did I fail today?  No, while my calories suck for the day, I didn’t eat peanut butter (score!).  I making a great dinner and I will do good for the rest of today.  Tomorrow I start fresh and will stay in my calories!


One little saving grace I have today is that I ran a 10K at the casino.  It was my challenge to myself on June 1.  June 1st was my 1 year anniversary of the start of MVBW at Next level and being fully committed.  On that day I signed up for the 10K to push myself, to prove how far I had come.  I was running about 4.5 miles at that point and figured 2.5 months would allow me the time to get up to 6.2 miles for the race. 

Prior to today, the longest I had run was 5.9 miles.  I didn’t know how today would go.  I just didn’t have the time to get more runs in – I would rather go to bootcamp then run!  In the middle of the week I had major stress going on and considered not running.  But I remembered my challenge to myself, and off I went to the starting line at 8am.


The first mile took me 10:10; 3 miles took me 31:13; 5 Miles took 52minutes.  It wasn’t easy, running up hill from mile marker 2 – 4 on route 31.  By the down hill portion of Stoney Brook my legs were so sore – like they feel after 4 rounds of 20:10 squat jumps and burpee finisher – you know what I am talking about!  Around the 5th mile you could see the casino and it motivated me to keep moving, don’t give up.  I had to walk a few times over the 6.2 miles but I kept the breaks short. .. “you get out what you put in”


Finally the finish line!  One hour and eight minutes later (and two blisters!).  I did it! Not only did I finish, I blasted my time expectation.  Right in front of me was a 18 year old kid that sprinted past me at the 6 mile mark.  As he crossed the finish line – he puked! I was in better condition than he was!  I walked past him to receive my water, my power-aid and MY METAL!

012 (2)

The first metal I have ever received!  I am so excited and proud!  So what are you going to do this week to challenge yourself.  Think about it, write it down and post it some where as a visual reminder thru the week.  Good luck!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Yogi Bear Park aka Jellystone park Java NY


We spent several days this year at yogi bear park, but not the same one as last year.  Instead we went to the one in Java NY.  We arrived on Sunday and left on Thursday. 

The number one reason for picking this park with that it had a pool, a beach, 2 playgrounds, mini golf, peddle bikes and a waterzone!


Yeah how cool is that?  Well according to my kids not very.  Emma wanted nothing to do with it.  And Tyler only went down one slide 3 times, after that he was over it.


I think the reason my kids didn’t enjoy it was due to all the water canons and guns.  They were so loud and people were rude with them.  They would spray anyone, in the face, in your back they didn’t care that they didn’t know you.  The adults were worse than the kids.

So we went to the beach!  which was right next to the waterpark.

water runSandcastle time

The kids loved it. they ran in the water, made sandcastles in the soft white sand, and just had a great time.  I guess my kids don’t need fancy things they just need sand and water!

Another great feature was the boats, you could take out a canoe, or kayak and paddle around the “lake” which is what Emma and I did while the boys fished.

Emma and i in the boat just before she lost the paddle035

one word...VACATION

The kids also loved the mini golf.  Since it was an all inclusive park we didn’t need to pay extra for the golfing, boats, water zone, or peddle carts. 

Cheese nice hair emma

I didn’t think the Ranger station or activity center were as cute as the one at paradise pines.  But Tyler told me that this was the real Yogi bear park because they “rangers” at the office all wore green shirts! lol


I loved all the songs we sang on the hayride!  We rode with both Yogi and Cindy bear!  My favorite songs were boom chick-a-boom and Herman the worman.  Each morning before he hayride they had a great little flag ceremony followed by a game with the bears.

004Cindy bear playing red light green light

After the Hayride, we had our photo opt with the bears!  I wondered if they were out more on the weekends when the park is full?

Mommy, emma and cindy

Tyler was not into the hayrides this year, and wanted nothing to do with getting his photo take with yogi.  So I don’t have a family shot this year. I am so deviated.  I also wish we had taken a photo of our group since Steve, Brenda, Log and Buggy went with us.

How cute is this of the babies?

The kids also had a blast on the playground!


I am so looking into getting these for the house!  they rock! Videos to come! lol

Hold on logan!yeah this is cool

Boo Boo is Emma and my favorite bear.  We passed Boo Boo in a golf cart going to a birthday party.  But he was never on a hayride with us Sad smile  So We found a way to have our boo boo time!

We love boo boo

Hi boo boo!Boo Boo

The worst part of vacation is that it always comes to an end.

Zucchini Lasagna

As I said in Last nights post I was very busy with my Zucchini usage yesterday!


I made three 8x8 lasagna that were so simple and easy!  Basically you just make your regular lasagna but instead of noodles I slice my zucchini length wise and use them.

You can Google for zucchini lasagna for hundreds of receipts..but here's mine for 3 pans..(remember you can freeze it!)

  • 1.5 pounds of meat (I use lean ground chuck and sweet sausage =.75 pounds of each)
  • 4 cups of low fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 Jar of you choice of tomatoes sauce
  • 1 Large Zucchini sliced lengthwise 1/4inch long – lay the  slices on paper towels to dry
  • Low fat ricotta cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can of Diced tomatoes

Start by browning your meat in a pan with the slights amount of EVOO.  Midway thru add in the onions and peppers.  Lightly cover each lasagna pan with some of the tomatoes sauce.  Drain any oil from the meat once fully cooked and add remaining sauce.  Remove from the heat.

Now in the lasagna pans layer zucchini slices across the pan.  Top with ricotta cheese and 1/3 of the meat mix.  Sprinkle each with 1 cup of mozz cheese before sprinkling with Italian seasoning. 

Top with another layer of zucchini, 1/3 of diced tomatoes and remaining mozz. cheese.  Top each with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.

Bake till the zucchini is tender it took about 40 minutes at 325 for ours.  But it was refrigerated overnight so it was chilled!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Zucchini Tomato Feta Tart


My garden has started producing zucchini.  But then it stalled out because of the lack of rain.  However I am sure it will start pumping more out this week with all the rain I took the chance today to do some cooking.  3 Zucchini lasagnas, 2 of Zucchini tomato Feta tarts and shortly a few calzones.


I took my inspiration from a few fellow bloggers.  This one, which I may make sometime, you know as it is instructed.  and then there is this one, which I really did follow most of the filling but I do want to try their dough!!

To start, my time was limited and so I just used pie crust from the store.  Then onto the filling:


2 Medium Plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

2 Tablespoons of Feta cheese
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Make filling: Spread the zucchini and tomatoes out over several layers of paper towels. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare tart: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the crust.


Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Then top with tomatoes layers and sprinkle with Feta cheese and basil.  Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.


Bake the tart until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the crush is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes,  serve hot, warm or at room temperature.


It was good but room for improvement – stay tuned for an update!  I am thinking I need to increase the Feta.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Roasted red pepper chicken wrap

Today for lunch  we made some yummy chicken wraps!

I started by grilling some chicken breasts.  Then on a low carb 100 calorie wheat wrap I spread a hint of horseradish and layered on a roasted red pepper and fresh baby spinach.

I topped it with the sliced chicken and a slice of monster cheese.

It was so yummy and great lunch option right before getting on the road.  Try it.. So quick and easy!

Stuffed Zucchini

Its that time of year where the garden starts pumping out Zucchini and Squash.  this is a great way to use some of it! its easily altered to your taste.
Here’s what you need:
  • 2 good size squashes for stuffing
  • 1 turkey pattie
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon
  • Feta cheese from westmoreland farmers market!!
  • Steamfresh rice with tomatoes, spinach and onions
  • 2 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
Start by slicing  about 1/4 off the squash lengthwise, then add it to a pan of boiling water till its fork tender
Cook the turkey pattie and bacon in a pan while the rice steams in the microwave
Remove the Turkey from the pan and set aside while it cools down.  in the pan add the evoo, garlic and rice. Chop of the turkey and bacon and add to the pan along with Salt, pepper and seasoning.
Mix well and let everything get warm and blended.  remove from heat and add about 1/2 cup of the feta cheese.

scoop the middle of your squash out. I take the seeds out first and trash them. Then some of the squash. I like about 1/4 inch wall. I add the removed squash to the rice mixture
Scoop the rice mixture into the squash boats.
Looks yummy right?! So one squash feeds my family.  its great with a salad.  I just put the other one in a freezer bag and save it for later this fall/winter
you can add more veggies like cukes, tomatoes ect.  you could even add bread crumbs.
Now that the garden is producing watch for more.   I have been tagging lots of yummy ideas!
My pinterest boards