Archive for July, 2010

So many voices!

Hey there! Now that it is Monday and I’ve painted  and can put that obsession behind me for a bit, it’s on to seriously training for this half-marathon both on the streets and in the kitchen. I feel like I should have some sort of “half-marathon” dish that is equivalent to crossing the finish line. Something that is really challenging to make that I can work towards…any ideas? What about something like this???


Thanks to peanut butter runner I found this great tool to help me train. Using this Runner’s World Smart Coach application, I have a schedule to follow for the next 16 weeks that should prepare me for the race in November! I sure hope so because I feel so far away…

I’m so thrilled that so many of you commented on Friday’s post! It makes blogging so much more fun when other people are involved and it’s not me just spouting off about how I feel at the moment.

Here are some of my favorite responses:

“Baked Tilapia with corn salad (corn, red onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and white vinegar) last night.” (this sounds yummy right? Going to add this to one of my meal plans sometime soon!)

“Hope you are doing well and I will definitely visit on a regular basis as I am very much into food. And wine!!! I also do eat low carb so if you come across any good recipes, I’d love it! I found a great one for a flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce that is to die for.” (She had me at wine, low-carb recipes and healthy chocolate cake)

“Also ladies, since I have changed vocations, I’m looking for ideas on Lunches I can bring with me to work. Something that is quick, cheap, easy, and can be eaten with one hand while standing  lol…. I work in the mall now and have zero time to escape for a healthy lunch and am usually over what I packed for myself by the time lunch rolls around so I end up going to the food court for something BAAAAD!!!” (She gave me great motivation to search for healthy lunches for her, look for that post coming in the next few days!)

Thanks again for all the comments, ideas and questions! Keep em’ coming!

On to this week’s meal plan that I totally stole from Epicurious and will be adjusting a bit but I’m excited because it’s stuff I wouldn’t usually think to make! Hopefully there will more successes than failures 🙂


Gazpacho with herbs and chile/Fried-Egg Ceasar salad w/sun-dried tomatoes and prosciutto bread-sticks


Grilled Tilapia with Chimichurri (originally halibut) w/zucchini and snow-pea salad


Spicy Thai Tofu with Red Bell Peppers, peanuts and sesame rice  (I secretly just want to use my wok)


Sautéed spinach with Buffalo salmon


Quick sandwich on the way to the beach.  Kim’s birthday weekend is finally here! Chris is sadly on his own for the rest of the week.

I’m happy to report the girls I’m going to the beach with are health conscious and active because we have yummy grilled veggies and fun bike rides and runs planned.  Can’t wait!!

***Also, before and after pics of the painting to come after lunch for anyone who is interested! Painting was definitely my weekend work-out and I have to say it was well-worth it!***


Back to Basics

So after my disastrous Ravioli incident, I decided to take the cooking back to beginner status to build my confidence back up. I made “scrambled egg pasta” which is basically a quick and easy recipe for carbonara. Carbonara is a family favorite and was probably my first food love. This was quick, easy and DELISH. (ps. love my shadow…I need to get better at picture taking)

Recipe courtesy of


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 8 slices thick bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4  cups al-dente cooked pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese; set aside.

2. In a large skillet, fry the bacon and onion together until the meat is browned and crispy and the onion has begun to caramelize.

3. Add the pasta (if using cold day-old pasta, cook until it’s just warmed through, about 1 minute).

4. Pour the egg-and-cheese mixture into the skillet and reduce heat to low. Stir continuously until the pasta is coated with the eggs and they have begun to solidify.

5. Season with the salt and pepper, then serve immediately, with extra grated Parmesan on the side.

*Note the trickiest part of this recipe is the stirring of the egg/cheese mixture. You want the heat low enough where the egg cooks as a coating to the noodles, but doesn’t turn in to scrambled eggs.

After dinner Chris and I got in a discussion about what we think most people have for dinner on weeknights. I was complaining of being tired and having so much to do and he replied that I don’t need to cook the meals I do every night. He thinks most people just eat small dinners (sandwiches, soups, pre-made meals) during the week and then maybe make a nice dinner once or twice on the weekend. I think he is wrong 🙂 I think most people cook every night for dinner…what do you guys think?

What are you eating Monday through Friday?? I’d love to hear what some of your favorite dishes are so I can try them out!

I was a total slacker last night at Group Power. I was tired and I kinda of daydreamed through class.  I love that class but was just drained from the week most likely. I’ve started to enjoy the nights I run a little more too. Which brings me to my playlist! When I do decide to run with an ipod (most times I just cherish the peace and quiet) I like a mix of high-paced and low-paced music. It keeps my mind wandering on other things than the pain! 🙂

i-pod Playlist:

  1. Disco Biscuits-“On Time”
  2. Morgan Page-“Fade Away”
  3. XX-“Islands”
  4. Broken Bells-“The High Road”
  5. Brandi Carlile-“Dying Day”
  6. Keane-“Spirallling”
  7. Kings of Leon-“Closer”
  8. Morgan Page (ft. Camila Grey)-“One Day”

What are your working-out playlists? What pumps you up to push through?

I’m off to a John Mayer concert tonight with some friends. Looking forward to a fun night on the grass of Verizon! Painting on Saturday (FINALLY!) and Sunday I’m working.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Ravioli-1, Claire-0

I don’t know about you guys but this week has been flying by for me and I”m glad that we are over the hump. As you might recall previously this week I posted the weekly meal plan and on Wednesday the menu called for Goat Cheese Ravioli, Bell Peppers and Brown Sugar. Sounds delish doesn’t it? Turns out…I can’t make Raviolis. In my “About Me” section I promised you guys the good, bad and the ugly. Today’s post is an ugly. They looked good when I was making them, in fact in my head I was kinda tooting my own horn, thinking this cooking thing isn’t that hard….

But just when I was about to get cocky, the Ravioli’s threw me a curve ball. I don’t know what happened between making them and boiling them. I let them boil for 4 minutes like the recipe suggested, but THIS is what it turned out like.

I don’t know if I should have filled them with more of the cheese mixture, or if they weren’t strong enough (was I supposed to double up the wonton wraps?) or if I boiled them for too long. Anyone know of any suggestions if I dare try it again?I need to be skool’d. Chris ate some and said they were good, but I”m pretty sure he only said that because he’s marrying me.

After the dinner massacre it was time for me to meet up with Linds for our Wednesday night run. I was actually looking forward to beating my disappointment out on the pavement. I decided to bring my camera along to show you guys what the bike path looks like. It’s so beautiful and we run it at night so it’s so much cooler and at the very end of the 3 miles we can start to see lightning bugs :

We did run into a bit of a snag caused by some of the rain we’ve had recently….

We could have run back and forth like some people were doing. I think this muddy water was at around the 1/2 mile mark but we decided to  brave the wall and climb around it. The hilarity of this “roadblock” was reason to take a pic…that and Cody-Bobby is just so cute.

Here is one last pic on our way back that shows how the trees really protect you from the sun when we do run it during the day. Plus, they make for pretty scenery which is an added bonus when running long distances. Excuse the blurry pic, my hand must have been trembling.

…and this is what I feel like after we run, blood pumping, red-faced and exhausted (thanks Linds).

I always get back in the car and guzzle water and today I thought I”d snap a pic because my water bottle was one left over from the baby shower last weekend. So cute to have your own personal water bottles!

After I ruined dinner I only had time to grab an access bar and head out to the run. When I got back I was hungry but it was later than I usually like to eat so Special K it was for me! Sometimes a cold bowl of cereal is enough of a dinner and it’s easy clean up. Let’s just hope that tomorrow’s dish (Scrambled Egg Pasta) comes out better than tonight’s….

Tomorrow I will be posting about my favorite music to run to. I can’t wait to hear what your favorite playlists are and see what kind of genre pumps most people up 🙂

The Hills Ended :(

So I’m such a TV slore if you haven’t figured it out by now. It’s actually one of my vices but I feel like as much as I do, a little TV at the end of the day is just my way of relaxing. As most of you might now, The Hills ended tonight and I thought they ended it in an innovative way. I didn’t cry or anything but I can remember watching episodes of the Hills in our old apartment years ago and it will stink to have to find new fashionista inspirations 🙂 Goodbye Kristin, Lo, Lauren, Stefanie and Audrina! XO

This post is going to be short and sweet. I got sucked in to the MTV finale obviously but also because I’ve been busy working on a “mock” website for an airbrushing business I’m trying to start with my sister on the side. I could use some extra cash and our family salon is closing 😦 With that comes new opportunities so we are taking our airbrushing skills mobile!

Find out more by checking out our temporary NEW blog:

On to Tuesday night dinner! I made some yummy quesadillas and they hit the spot! I ended up using a recipe off but didn’t add the mango salsa…

Chicken Quesadillas


  • 2 chicken breast halves, fat trimmed
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into strips
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green) cut into strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/3 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 cup avocado-mango salsa *I didn’t use
  • 8 (6″) low carb whole wheat flour tortillas*


Slice chicken breast in half so you have 4 cutlets. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and garlic powder.

Lightly spray a skillet on medium heat with oil or if using a grill, grill chicken until cooked on both sides. Remove from heat and cut chicken into strips, set aside. To the skillet, add 1 tbsp oil and cook onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are soft being careful not to burn the garlic. When cooked, set aside.
Heat skillet on medium heat and lightly spray with oil. Add tortilla, top with cheese, chicken, onions, peppers, and pico de gallo or avocado-mango salsa. Top with the other tortilla. Cheese should be melted and the bottom of the tortilla should be golden brown. Put a plate on top of the quesadilla to flip it over onto the plate. Then slide the other side onto the skillet. Cook another minute and remove with a spatula. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream if you wish.

It’s after 12 so I’ve got to get to sleep, my eyes are drooping 😉


Fresh Starts!

Happy Monday! I know most people don’t like Monday’s, and I’m not that much of a freak where I look forward to them, but honestly I don’t mind them. If on Sunday I cleaned, did laundry, grocery shopped and got a good night’s sleep, Monday’s are a fresh start to a brand new week. My weekends are always different so I crave the structure of my work-week. Today was a good start…

After work I decided since there had been some stormy weather in Charlotte I should take advantage of the overcast sky and wet streets by going for a run. Chris has been training to run the half marathon with me and he’s kickin’ my butt. He does his normal 5 mile route these days while I’ve been sticking to my safe 2-mile. I really wanted to break out today and try and go for a longer run. I did around 3 miles pretty easily thanks to my access bars and my snack of bread with some Nutella. I honestly think people that don’t like Nutella are crazy. It’s basically chocolate people!

After the run I was hungry and thankful that the meal plan called for a grilled chicken salad. Light is what I was craving and I think people underestimate a good home-made salad. I didn’t grill it, instead I just pan seared it and threw in some red onion, red pepper, feta cheese, avocado and some grape tomatoes.

I have to say the best thing about this salad was the vinaigrette that I got off of

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dessert was a bowl o’ cherries! I’m obsessed with these lately…

I’m sure you guys are tired of hearing about painting but I am having second thoughts on the paint I bought (Chris would kill me if he knew) I hope it doesn’t turn out to yelloweee. I keep staring at the paint dot on top of the cans and it’s driving me mad that I can’t just put it on the walls. That and my house is in disarray at the moment!

Welp, gotta go, the Bachelorette is on!

All You Can Eat!

Chris and I LOVE some crab legs, even more so than lobster. When I saw a good deal on crab legs at the grocery store I knew I had to grab them. Chris went on a  mountain biking trail with our friend Nick and when he got home to crab legs he was like a little boy at Christmas 🙂

I usually make mashed potatoes with this dish but I felt like it was little too heavy. Instead I just ate a nice salad with feta cheese, grape tomatoes and walnuts with some balsamic vinaigrette.

After not getting a full grocery shopping trip in last weekend my eating habits were all screwed up. I am happy that I have replenished my oats for breakfast, as well as my greek yogurt snacks, kashi bars and have a week full of cooking dinners ahead of me. Here’s what I am striving to make this week:

Monday-Grilled chicken and spinach salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigerette

Tuesday- Chicken Quesadillas

Wednesday-Goat Cheese Ravioli with Bell Peppers & Brown Butter

Thursday-Scrambled Egg Pasta aka easy carbonara

Friday-I have a John Mayer concert this night so Chris is on his own 😉

Saturday-Low-Country Boil to end the week and what will be a PAINTING day!

Gotta get to bed early tonight, cycle class at 6:00 in the am! Back to the grind…


So the painting has come to a screeching halt. Or rather, it never officially got started. Roadblock #1. I taped up the entire living room on Friday night and prepped as best as I could but after finding holes that needed to be patched and Chris’s perfectionism I have been forced to do this project “the right way” and hold off until next Saturday.

I guess I can live with it for 6 more days. Although it looks like this…

Roadblock #2 was the Hubs craving for Friday night pizza. I folded. How could I resist?

Saturday morning I knew we had a BUSY day but I really wanted to get a work-out in. I was originally supposed to run Latta with Linds but we had planned for 9:45 and that was just going to be pushing it. I ended up just running my normal 2 mile route around 9 (in under 18 minutes!!) and then immediately came home to make some cupcakes for the baby shower I hosted and a cold Green Monster smoothie! Refreshingly YUM.

After my liquid breakfast I went to the shower where I practiced some self-control but gave in to a few indulgences. I did have a cupcake (I figured, I made em’…might as well test them out) but steered clear of salty chips and other junk.

I decided not to go to my softball game this afternoon which is no bueno for the team (and Linds-sorry girl!) but I had to meal plan, go grocery shopping, laundry (all roadblocks #3, 4 &5) and if I don’t get some rest today I will burn out.

Gotta figure out what we are having for dinner! Anyone have any ideas? Hope everyone had a great weekend!