Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Chris Turns the BIG 3-0!

Last Friday Chris went out-of-town for the Moscone Conference in San Francisco and unfortunately we were apart for his 30th birthday.  We agreed to celebrate this past Saturday and thankfully everything I had planned, turned out great! Let’s recap…

In true Claire fashion, if it were up to me, I would have invited all his friends from all walks of life to a HUGE surprise party to help ring in his “dirty thirty.” BUT…Chris has a different take on birthdays and prefers to not make a big deal out of them…crazy! I wanted to respect his wishes by keeping it down-played and so instead I planned a fun-filled day with just the two of us…and plenty of his favorite foods.

On Friday I made him some rice krispy treats…just to get things warmed up….

I’ve really missed being in the kitchen and my all tofu/salad/semi-vegan diet has kept “cooking” to a minimum, so I really enjoyed making these.

Saturday morning was Starbucks and Belgium waffles from scratch!

After lounging around the house after breakfast, it was time to go to Victory Lanes for some extreme go-karting! We had a blast and Chris was really appreciative of our Saturday adventure plans that I had made for us.

I was kinda obsessed with the fact we got to dress up in fire-resistant suits….

The entire time we were racing around the track I was laughing inside my helmet! Seriously if you have not tried this and live in Charlotte, go!

When we got back we had built up quite the appetite so I made him a big BLT sandwich…

and a tofu wrap for me.

I tried to stay away from the waffles (I just had a green smoothie) and the heavy lunch, because I knew I was going to ditch my dietary standards for the night at the steak house that evening. It was inevitable…I don’t have the strength to order fish or vegetarian when I’m eating at a nice restaurant. It feels like such a waste.

While I can say dairy is all but out of my diet and eating animal by-products have been limited to only about 2 times a week, deep down, I’m still a meat and potatoes girl…

You can take the meat out of the diet, but you can’t take the desire out of the gal.

I had a filet and mashed potatoes for dinner and enjoyed every last bite. Knowing that I would go back to eating a mostly plant-based diet the next day, I figure what’s the point in living longer if you can’t enjoy a nice piece of meat and meltly mashed potatoes every once in a while? Everything in moderation….

I also took a few bites of Chris’ brownie sundae for dessert…

Wow how I have missed butter and ice-cream! I bought a Carvel ice-cream cake, that I will let Chris tackle himself, and leave my bad habits at our dinner table on Saturday night.

Today is a long day filled with cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and I’m hoping to get a mani/pedi in! It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m thinking a gym session will get nixed for an outdoor activity with Daisy instead!

What are your plans on this warmer than usual Sunday?? Did you all have great weekends!?

Current Conditions  updated 11:52 AM ET
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Hi 64° | Lo 42°

Intermittent Clouds

ALSO! I got a sneak peek at the new blog layout and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! I have complete faith in the graphic designer who is working on it and I’m supposed to see some final options on Monday. We are shooting to implement the new design on February 1st and I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


Ice Ice Baby

Yesterday’s snow day was beyond AWESOME. It was like playing hookie, guilt free.

Apparently I was really missing the “dining” part of this blog because I felt like every meal we ate yesterday was exciting and therapeutic to make. With 2 jobs, wedding planning and my romance with the gym rekindled…there has been very little time for experimenting in the kitchen.

The snow day helped ease all that.

When I wasn’t checking my work e-mail, or organizing (because let’s face it, I just can’t sit still for an entire day) I was making us a yummy breakfast, unique lunch or tasty dinner.

Lunch was a tuna sandwich on an everything bagel. I added some cheddar and mozzarella cheese and put it in the broiler to melt. I mixed in some red onion, salt and pepper with the tuna and topped it off with some iceberg lettuce, apple slices and some carrots for a hearty, warm and healthy lunch.

Dinner was a couscous bowl with tofu and I did not follow a recipe. Instead I just diced up some red and green peppers along with a  jalapeno pepper, red onion and some tofu. Placed it all in a wok, added a little TJ’s low sodium soy sauce, cumin and lemon juice. Mixed it all together and threw it in a bowl with a glass of Pinor Noir on the side!

So side-not in the midst of all the excitement of a snow day, I broke my toe. How does one do this you ask? Well in attempt to re-arrange my living room furniture, I stubbed my toe HARD!

Has anyone ever seen the movie, “Because I Said So?” Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore play a mother and daughter who both have tendencies to re-arrange their furniture as what can only be described as an alternative to therapy. I have this sickness….feeling cabin fever? Rearrange furniture.

(source)

Anyway, moving along, it hurt so bad that I literally dropped to an Indian-style position on our living room floor and had Daisy so worked up she was racing circles around me. Meanwhile Chris  was just trying to get me to verbalize what had happened instead of grunting. He wrapped my toe, which apparently is all you can do when you break one.

It still hurts and I’m even more bummed that it looks like heels are out of the picture for the next few weeks.

Tuesday morning we woke up with a 2-hour delay at our office. Being so far out, I opted to stay home in hopes that Wednesday would bring drastically different conditions and I could actually make it into the office.

The lovely snow has now turned into ice and the novelty of this inclement weather has officially died off.

Daisy and I went for a short walk, but even she was annoyed. Everywhere we stepped there was cracking beneath our feet.

For breakfast I decided to use the last bit of bread we had to make apple cinnamon bread pudding. This was quick to throw together but took about 45 minutes in the oven. I cleaned up the mess in the kitchen, threw in a load of laundry and did some work to kill time.

I was ready to scarf it down once the timer went off. This nice breakfast treat along with some hot chocolate is definitely a silver lining for having to take  PTO.

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Gotta get back to checking my e-mail and maybe a podcast of pilates since my gym is still closed 😦  Hope everyone is staying warm and safe in this weather!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lg. loaf french bread
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups apple sauce, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 small lemon zest

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cut the loaf of french bread into one inch chunks. If it is stale already, move onto the next step. If it is fresh, spread it out on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring once. This will remove some of the moisture from the bread allowing it to soak up the custard mixture.

While your bread is in the oven drying out, prepare the custard. In a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, 1 cup of apple sauce, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest. Whisk until well combined.

Spray the interior of a glass casserole dish with non-stick spray (I used a large 9×11 dish. You can use an 8×8 to make a deeper/taller bread pudding). Fill the baking dish with the bread chunks, pressing down if needed.

Pour the custard liquid over the bread chunks as evenly as possible.  Drop chunks of butter on top if desired (2 Tbsp total). You can add the second cup of apple sauce on top before baking (drop dollops of it on top and wiggle it down between bread chunks) or you can add it after baking. I like to add it cold after baking because I like the temperature contrast.

Bake the bread pudding at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve hot.

A Celebratory Weekend

Saturday night I went uptown to Crave, a dessert bar, to help celebrate my friend’s Jane and Stephanie’s birthdays! There we feasted on some really great food, had laughs and caught up.

The menu had lots of great dishes and so we dove right in. First we ordered the crab cakes which were delicious, but then again I’ve never met a crab cake I didn’t like….

Chocolate cake was next up on the list, I chose not to eat it but heard it was awesome.

After gabbing and dancing the night away, the next morning I wanted to go to the gym but was still sore from upping my weight load at Group Power or dancing,  hard to tell. For breakfast I went with my usual but added a half bagel with cream cheese, YUM!

I just love this mixture, it’s a perfect combination: oats, yogurt and fruit. TRY THIS! You can add whatever fruit or yogurt flavor you wish. It reminds me of a parfait but healthier version and for some reason does not get old.

After breakfast it was time to meet my mom and sister for a bit of bridesmaid shopping. I loathe this process. I hate them all. I’m trying to walk the fine line between picking something the girls will really like AND trying to keep it affordable. The hunt continues…

After the errands we decided to head back to my mom’s house to make homemade pizzas. It was my step-dad’s birthday and so the agenda included dinner followed by  cake and a hilarious movie, Despicable Me.

Ta-da!!

Not the best looking pizza, but it was good. My sister did a great job baking and icing the cake…she is definitely the baker in the family.

I pretty much headed straight to bed when I got home in order to feel rested for the beginning of the week. BUT, then we got this SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!

Charlotte is officially having a snow-day today! I was surprised that my boss urged me to work from home but I am relishing every bit of it. Chris and I instantly knew we had to celebrate with this:

Hope every one is having a great Monday and for all you Charlotte readers, wa-whooo if you get to stay home like us!

How do you like to spend your snow-days??

Get off my Treadmill.

Dear New Gym Members or former members coming out of the woodwork,

This place isn’t big enough for the both of us. I lift weights…I could take you down. But further more, please don’t send me back to working out in my living room. It’s boring there.

Does anyone else’s gym look like this??

(source)

I much prefer it being empty. Just me and a few other regulars roaming around. We communicate with polite head nods as if to say, “hey there..same time, same place…again.”

(source)

Alas…it is January and this is when everyone decides that healthier living is moving to the top of the priority list. Good for them! Just get off my treadmill 🙂

I’m kidding of course. While I was super annoyed that my group power class was too full to join and the fact that I had to do ab work until a treadmill was free last night, I am glad to see more faces joining the gym. Although, I think I am going to stick to the morning work-out schedule for a while until some of the “newly motivated”, fall off the wagon.

While I hope this isn’t a monotonous food post, I did switch up the breakfast…from apples to strawberries.

Verdict: Not as good as apples.

Lunch this week has been boring and usually involves anything that I don’t actually have to assemble. I’ve been sleeping like a rock the past few days and sleeping in till the very last-minute! Soup & carrots have been the winners this week.

Interesting? No. Fast and Easy? Yes. I swear I will get better about packing my lunches next week. Leaving my house un-organized on Sunday completely put me in a tailspin. I opted to drink wine on the couch if you recall. Therefore I can’t get up on time, have not packed lunches for myself and don’t even get me started on my lack of work outfits from little to no laundry being done.

We had more prime rib for dinner and let me explain. We bought too much for the Christmas Eve dinner so some we froze and now we have to eat. I couldn’t stand another meal with just red meat and sides so Chris and I decided to do subs. This was awesome.

I told him he is just going to have to take down the rest of the leftovers because I don’t want to see Prime Rib again for months.

After dinner, I plopped down on the couch to finally relax (the gym wasn’t as relaxing as it is normally) and devoured some Sex and the City, thanks E!

After the back-to-back episodes (every weeknight mind you) I did a little wedding planning before bed. There are a few items I have yet to check off from my lists but all in all, things are running smoothly.

Looking for invitations this weekend, can’t wait!

The Countdown Begins!

The countdown to what you ask?

1.) Christmas, obviously!

2.) Post holiday- get in wedding shape project

3.) A little blog revamp

It is once again Monday and what a weekend we had. Lately it seems like we have been squeezing everything into the weekends and I’ll be thankful for the quietness that comes with January and February. I, like most people, fully intend on hibernating in the coming months.

Working backwards, Friday was a blur. I vaguely remember eating my favorite breakfast treat along with some un-pictured Salsartia’s. The strong love I have for Mexican occasionally needs to be un-leashed.

Friday was a slew of pot-luck treats due to attending a phenomenal Christmas Party (thanks Shannon!) It was a great time and by far the best that I’ve been to this season.

Do you know how hard it is to get this big of a group to look and smile at the same time?

Saturday I woke up, looked outside and saw this special treat…

It’s not much snow, but it’s snow none the less. This prompted me to bake our breakfast! 🙂

I have been on quite the apple kick lately so I decided to try this recipe that I saw on Simply Recipes.

 Bisquick Apple Coffee Cake

Ingredients: (I halved everything so we only had 2 servings)

Cake:
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup of milk or water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tart green apple, cored, peeled, sliced

Topping:
1/3 cup Bisquick mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease 8″ square pan or 9″ round pan. Mix cake ingredients. Spread cake batter in pan. Insert apple slices into the batter evenly throughout the cake.

Mix the topping ingredients of Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread topping mix over top of batter in pan. Add slices of butter all over the top.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, testing with a toothpick.

After delving into this, I tried to tackle some house-hold chores before our busy day and evening we had scheduled. We had my cousin’s graduation at UNCC at 3:00pm and directly following we had intended to go see the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights. I say intended, because we didn’t end up being able to go. 😦

With my grandparents in town from GA for the graduation and our entire family being together for the first time since the cruise last January, I found it pretty impossible to bail on the family get-together. I felt bad that we had to cancel our plans, but with an uncle in and out of the hospital recently and my grandparents getting older, you can never take those moments for granted.

At the family get together we were able to see my cute little nephew. Chris wouldn’t put him down, and quite honestly it was one of the cutest sites I’ve ever seen.

I think he may be getting baby fever, hehe 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I also landed a holiday job. I know what you are thinking…WHEN am I going to have time to do that? My answer? I’ll figure it out. With the wedding, Christmas and expenses everytime I turn around, it will be beneficial for us, for the next few months.

Sunday I had to work from 9-1, I only had time to grab quick leftovers from Saturday morning.

Still good, albeit not as pretty.

When I got home I was starving AND tired. That combination warrants a good ol’ fashioned, PB&J. It was just what my stomach wanted.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and finishing up laundry (Chris did help a bunch). For dinner, I was craving something healthy and colorful. Colorful=good nutrients my body was lacking! RED tomatoes, GREEN veggies, DARK olives and bright ORANGE salmon.

Baked Salmon with a Mediterranean-type salad. Tomatoes,  kalamata olives, basil, red wine vinegar and some chopped onion. DELISH.

As stated in the beginning of this post, I told you there was a countdown to Christmas, a new work-out regimen for the wedding as well as a blog revamp. Please take this survey so that I can better understand what it is you like about Dine-in-Dash. (It’s only 5 questions long and the answers are private!)

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BNEQP2CDW/ 

For the 2011, things will be changing on Dine-in-Dash. I want to make sure I change things for the better and not eliminate what readers might like the most. It would really help me out if you would click on the link to take the sruvey! Thanks!!

 Hope your weeks are slow and lazy, I know mine will not  be with retail during Christmas!! Yikes!

We Meet Again!

I made it to the gym last night! It was my first time back in weeks but after reading a Meals and Miles post the other day, I finally got the motivation. I am so HAPPY I did because I left feeling great.

I’ve noticed a trend in posts this morning in the healthy living community (at least the ones I read) about a runners body vs. a strength-training body. I must admit that since I have taken up running more regularly I have not been as happy with my body 😦 I think I have gained around 10-15 pounds and while some of the extra lb’s must be muscle I don’t feel nearly as toned as I did this time last year.

Just look at the difference. Last year I was in the gym 3x a week in preparation for our Caribbean cruise. I did very little running.

…and now (albeit I’m a ton whiter and that makes a small difference) I’m not nearly as “fit” or so it would seem.

(I realize I’m tailgating in this picture but trust me, there was no shortage of that last year)

My jeans are hardly fitting and I just feel so heavy. This could be due to the fact that I’m not getting enough aerobic itensity out of my runs but honestly, I think my body just flourishes more with strength training. This is not to say I’m cutting out cardio all together, I just need to incorporate more of what I was doing in the past, and not soley rely on runs.

I think people have to find what works best for them and after last night’s gym session, it was oh so clear that I want to be back more regularly. This is what works for me:

  • 7-10 minute warm-up on the Elliptical
  • 20-25 minutes circulating on the machines, either working on legs or arms
  • 10 minute ab-work-out conisting of 130 crunches
  • 20 minute cardio: 5 minute warm-up, 10 minute run, 5 minute cool down

Last night, I even caught the spread in Glamour on Reese Witherspoon during my warm-up!

I know some people don’t love the idea of working out in a gym, but I’m not one of them. I find it satisfying and like to people watch. They have good tunes playing without having to use my i-pod and most importantly…it’s warm.

Backtracking a bit, I had my normal breakfast-last photo, I promise. I’m switching it up a bit next week.

Oats, yogurt, apple slices and cinnamon.

For lunch, Chris packed me an awesome lunch using our leftovers.

I love how he used the compartments in the Tupperware so wisely. That brownie for dessert fit in there perfectly! Thanks hubs!

On to dinner, this was Chris’s concoction. He called it “Chicken with Strange Sauce.” All I could make-out were the mushrooms, onions and capers but it was pretty darn good. He likes to boast he does not use recipes.

After dinner me and Daisy sat on the couch and watched Finding Nemo. I am pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch arond 9:00pm.

That is what going back to the gym will do to you! Can’t wait to hit up a Group Power class tonight!

What works best for you when it comes to exercising? When do you feel at your peak?

Apple Cinnamon Goodness.

So I am pretty obsessed with the breakfast I’ve been eating all week. I know it might get boring to show you a constant collage of oats and yogurt in Tupperware on a daily basis, so I will try to at least switch up the fruit next week. But that is all I can promise because this breakfast makes me happy 🙂

Oats, yogurt, a sliced up apple with some cinnamon….so tasty in the mornings.

Since it’s been so freezing out I have been pairing it with some good ol’ hot chocolate (since I don’t do coffee).

I met up with my cousin for lunch (a rare and special treat), we don’t get to see each other as often as I would like. We opted for some sushi and while I tried to order the miso soup to refrain from eating too much…

the “special” happened. I just can’t contain myself when it comes to sushi. It’s one of my all-time favorite foods.

Back at the office, it’s literally getting dangerous the amount of sweets circulating. I tried to refrain from diving into the HR supply of chocolate baskets but could not resist a white-chocolate covered pretzel. I’m a sucker for white chocolate.

Didn’t go to the gym on Tuesday either. Just didn’t do it. I’m boycotting doing anything that involves going outside: checking the  mail, driving to the gym, I’ve even pondered the likelihood of getting Daisy to walk herself.

Dinner was a jambalaya inspired meal. I wanted something comforting but at the same time, wasn’t a lot of work. I had some turkey sausage in the fridge so I decided use that. I sautéed some onions and threw it in a Trader Joe’s brown rice medley. So easy, SO good. I’m going to add it to the winter rotation of meals.

With an Eat. Pray. Love mentality still on my mind, I decided to make some guilt-free brownies.

Recipe courtesy of All Recipes.

These were so good, I licked the bowl and didn’t even feel bad about it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

January is going to be rough. 🙂