You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry

Tag Archives: food

We have been so very busy the last month. I love being busy, it makes the time go by faster and I feel like I’m more productive when things are moving along. Taylor is starting his last year of grad school and we are both breathing a huge sigh of relief. We knew the time would pass quickly, we just didn’t know when quickly felt like quickly. Some of these months have dragged along, especially Summertime. When life is lazy and our brains turn to mush. It’s just one of those things! To give you a quick update, we visited one of our oldest friends a few weeks ago in Athens, Ohio. The city of Athens itself is a lot like where we live. A college town with a cute downtown area with great eats, cool bars, and cheap drinks! A drinker I am not, but I let myself have two. I was only going to drink one but a new friend didn’t like her “ahem” on the beach so I drank it. Never had that before and it was quite tasty! I should start with the beginning shouldn’t I?

The night before we left I had a feeling I should take the day off of work. I knew I needed to leave a bit earlier than usual but I decided I would just go in the morning and get through most of the day. Well…I woke up sick. Ironic isn’t it? I have a feeling it was half a meal I didn’t prepare and I was unsure about while eating it, and half I have no idea what the heck is wrong with me. It was like I had the flu turned way down so my symptoms were there but muted. Dunno, shrug. So I stayed home, which is just what I needed. Bella made me feel better too!



By the time noon rolled around, I was feeling much better and we hit the road shortly after. The drive is only about 3-4 hours so we just sat and talked, and played BOMB. In case you’re wondering, BOMB is like horse in basketball however you come up with an actor or actress and the next person has to say what movie that actor or actress was in, then you say another actor or actress that played in that movie, then you say an actor or actress and so on. We couldn’t believe it but we played for two hours getting lost and then back on the road in Ohio. It’s the little things!

Our friend Tommy is the same friend that was the best man in our wedding and ran in the Warrior Dash with us last year. He’s a really cool guy and a good friend! He just bought a house so we were oooing and aahhing over all the details. A garage? Nice kitchen! Oh you have a walk in closet! How cool!I am so thankful to be an adult because guest bedrooms that have their own bathrooms are awesome. We were so tired from the drive that we decided to hang out and watch a movie; Mystery Men. I never saw it before and I’m sure I would have liked it when it came out but since that movie is kind of “old” now and cheesy, it wasn’t my favorite. I did enjoy watching the boys watch it though- very nostalgic for them. Then it was off to bed, I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow!

The next day we had a delicious breakfast of chocolate Special K (oh, it was so good!) and took a tour of Tommy’s job and some of the downtown area. It’s such a beautiful place because it’s literally next to and in the University of Oho campus. I had no requests for the whole weekend other than going to Bagel Street Deli. I crave this place every once in a while and since I had it last over a year ago- it was time to go again!


It’s such a cute little place, they have bricks on the wall that everyone writes their names on, I always get a blt because I’m not adventurous and I like what I like, what I like!

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On top you’ll see Taylor’s Pfeiffer’s choice on asiago and below that is my blt. They are served piping hot in foil, best eaten with copious amounts of chips. We rolled ourselves out of there to look out and about for some jewelry for me. I didn’t find any but I was super impressed with how crazy weird some people were. Even more were the oddest shops, mostly vintage, and I wanted to buy everything. I tried on a super cute dress but I didn’t get it because 1. It was U of M colors (I would look like a student) and 2. It looked like a dress a student would wear. I was hesitant at first but as soon as I walked out and saw at least 5 students wearing similar dresses, I knew I was right. Along the way we stopped at Fluff- the cutest little bakery that lets you have your own China tea plate if you eat there.

IMG_4280 IMG_4281Up top is a butterfinger cupcake and Taylor had a red velvet cupcake. They were so good but I was still full from lunch so I took half home. We came back to the house for a bit to get ready for the night. Tommy has a bunch of really cool friends that we had been dying to meet so we got washed up and hit the town!


On the patio of Jackie O’s, I had the melt my pesto sandwich and Taylor had a rueben. We both swore they were life changing sandwiches, I’ll have to recreate both soon! It was so nice to just sit outside and relax and talk without the stupid mosquitos eating us alive. They must be especially annoying in Michigan because we are magnets, and allergic to boot! The rest of the evening was filled with meeting new people, dancing, bar hopping, and what we call the Katie face. The Katie face is a face that a new friend named Katie makes in every picture. I love it and I wish I did it sooner because it makes pictures more fun and less awkward….by acting awkward.


It starts like this; hey we’re all cool

IMG_4295And then you do the Katie face; it’s awesome!


This is the dance we’ve done since high school, brings back memories!


I have no idea, haha

It was so much fun! I love going out with friends and meeting new people so this is just what I needed. What made it better was Tommy’s friends were so nice to us and welcoming, I really felt comfortable enough to be myself. Plus, how much fun is dancing amIright?!

We ended up going to bed sometime after 2am. We had hot dogs around midnight and saw a girl passed out drunk on her deck, which was only entertaining because we saw the police waking her up. The next morning we knew we were heading to the diner for breakfast. Tommy’s Egg’s Benedict, Taylor’s Huevos Ranchero’s scramble, and my pancakes. I think all of these were clearly larger than my face. I vowed to never eat again.

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Ok here come’s the Katie face…


It’s our new favorite thing!

We played our traditional games of Smash Brothers and Mario Party, and then it was time to go. I couldn’t believe how quickly it went by! We had a blast and can’t wait to come back again. There’s a bunch of comedians doing shows so we might check one out soon, we’ll see. Thanks for being an awesome host Tommy- miss you already!

In the meantime, this is just one stop in the craziness that’s been happening in our lives. What’s up in your world? 🙂




Things have been very busy at work lately. I’m starting to get in the swing of things since I signed my official employee contract. I thoroughly enjoy knowing what I’m doing when I’m there (I hate being the new girl) and I’ve been adjusting to having more friends.

Just the other day one of my coworkers was eating something…it I passed her along the way of walking into another office but I quickly came back to inquire about the tasty smell. “Dude, that smells SO GOOD! What IS that?!” She simply smiled and stated, “It’s leftover lasagna, I made it in the crockpot.” Uummm…genius! Recipenowthankyouverymuch!

The time was right before I normally go on my lunch hour so the thought crossed my mind to go home and make it right then and there, but I was missing something important: the lasagna noodles. Bummer.

So I patiently waited for the weekend to come along when I would purchase my precious noodles (with a coupon of course!) and whip up this delightful dish. My plan was to make it Monday so I could come home after work to the smell of Italian food wafting through the front door, but Monday was a rough day. I suffered 14, yes fourteen bug bites after watching fireworks for the holiday and in my sleep I scratched so much- I woke up in a panic several times throughout the night. Anyway I was tired, cranky, and barely made it home to eat a grilled cheese. There was no way I had the energy to do anything on Monday.

But then there was today. I got a better night sleep, and my ingredients were all set out or set up in the fridge. I was ready.

I have to remind myself sometimes its a little tricky to try new recipes when I only have an hour to get home, make the meal, and be back again to work in an hour, but this was so simple I had plenty of time to eat lunch too.

I would have done step by step pictures, but ain’t nobody got time fo dat! At least I didn’t in my haste.

Crockpot Lasagna adapted from here

1/2 spicy italian turkey sausage

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 minced garlic

1 jar Barilla roasted garlic sauce (I am going to add another 1/2 jar or so next time!)

1/2 cup water

1 15oz container part skim ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella cheese (I’m glad I didn’t skimp on cheese, it was the perfect amount)

4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

1 egg

2 teaspoons dried parsley

9 uncooked lasagna noodles

Makes: About 6 servings

Step One: Brown the sausage and onion together until the onion is translucent and the meat is fully cooked through

Step Two: Meanwhile mix together the ricotta, egg, parsley, and 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Step Three: To meat mixture, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic pasta sauce and water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 5 minutes

Step Four: Place one cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a crockpot, top with 3 lasagna noodles, top with 1/3 of ricotta mixture (I had to break 2 of the noodles in thirds to fit them all in a layer), repeat twice, and cover the top with the rest of the sauce

Step Five: Cook on low 4 1/2 hours, top with the rest of the cheese and let sit 10 minutes (The directions on the original website said not to try putting it on high to cook faster. I didn’t have a need to anyway, but you’re warned!)

I served our lasagna with a green salad and garlic bread (Just cut up some french bread, slather butter and garlic salt and broil for like a minute or until it’s golden brown)


This was before plating


And dinner was served!

Overall I would say use more sauce than the original recipe calls for because I’m a saucy kind of gal (heh). Hubby said this was a grand slam kind of meal. :Blush: I can’t see where this one would get messed up anyway, lots of cheese! So yay, any crockpot recipes you love?

We have a some friends that are really cool. What I mean by that is they always know what to do on the weekend to have fun. Whether it’s having a grilled cheeseburger and a bon fire at their house, rafting down the river, or playing trivia and then cosmic bowling, they know where it’s at. I was really excited because they invited us to the Greek Festival and we had such a good time!

I had never been to anything like it before!

There was Greek dancing

Greek Beer


Friends (They were teaching how to do the Greek dancing… I was the only one that caught on, but we still had fun!)


I always forget how tall T and I are…I guess we don’t notice very often!


and Greek Food!

This picture does not do it justice, but it’s called Pastitsio. It’s a Greek lasagna type food and we scarfed it down! Wow! It was really cool eating something new because I tend to be a bit of a picky eater when it comes to new to me foods, but I was so hungry I didn’t get to turn my nose up. So glad I tried it! I want more- now! After the food, dancing, and shots, we took a tour of the church that hosted the festival next door.

After an HOUR of sitting and listening to the sermon/lecture, they actually let us look around and see the place. Such rich tradition and beautiful additions. It wasn’t a place to take pictures, but it was the first church I’ve been to with statues that don’t scare the crap out of me. To this day I can’t go into Catholic churches, sad I know. I am a Christian. But Christian religious statues are creepy to me. They explained the reasoning, it was really beautiful how they described them as tributes to important people, so maybe I need more explanation next time? Before you write me off as a terrible person, I swear I don’t think anything less of other religious sects of the church, I just had a really bad experience as a kid and I’d rather not relive that!

After the tour, it was time to head home and to bed. So glad to have friends that are so cool and fun, because we’re boring old married people you know? 🙂




I can’t believe how things have changed, even in the last year. I really hope to blog more, we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime here’s the story of our anniversary trip!




We woke up on Friday morning after another lovely evening of watching Star Trek, the original series from the 60’s. Live long and prosper 🙂 Anyway, I made  some cinnamon rolls and told The Hubster to eat a banana if he got hungry later. He had the day off so he dropped me off at work, sigh. I should have taken the day off too but I’m not an official employee yet.

Oh did I not mention I got a new job? Yeah, I’m really excited about it. I’m now an accountant which I’ve never been before. I like my job and I like the people, so far so good!

After he dropped me off it was really hard not to think about going away. This is the first time we’ve ever taken a trip, just the two of us without having to visit family since our honeymoon. I sat at my desk all morning looking at the clock over and over, and then telling myself if I look at the clock one more time I’m in trouble. And then I looked it one more time…

He picked me up and we stopped at steak and shake for lunch, pretty much the opposite of healthy but our Heath Shake was so so good.

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After lunch I was back to work watching the clock (trust me, I’m normally not like that because I really do love my job, but the trip! Oh the trip! was on my mind) and I could hardly breathe as I raced out to the parking lot and into the car so we could jet off. I had packed the night before but I wanted to say a quick goodbye to the kitties and make sure everything was in place.



And then we were off!

The plan was to drive the Grand Haven, which is on the west side of Michigan. The day was gorgeous and we were plenty excited to leave town. Nowadays we’ve been talking more seriously about our future. Where we’re going to live once he finishes grad school, when to have kids, and car trips are just one of those things that allow us to open up more. I know most wives say nice things about their hubbies and they must be great, but I’ve got a good one. I really do.

This is the boardwalk in Grand Haven, I didn’t take a picture but this is what it looks like.

We checked into our hotel and decided to get pizza. We researched places to eat before we went and heard this place called Fricano’s was good. In fact it was voted best pizza here and best pizza there, and people were going on and on. I guess we’re just California pizza snobs because we weren’t that impressed. In fact, I found it greasy and I got heartburn after. The good thing about this place is that it’s old fashioned. They take cash or check only and the only thing on the menu is pizza. And pizza. And…pizza. Our waitress was such a sweetheart. I asked her to take a picture of us, she had no idea how to use my phone 🙂

That’s her finger, not bad for her first time! 🙂


I tried to recreate a picture taken on our honeymoon, but Taylor didn’t have the same shirt. We were pretty close though! Take a look:

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Do we look any different?

We hung out, drove around the city a bit and stopped by the lake. There were campgrounds that we had our eye on for next time! It was so nice and relaxing. When we got back to our less than awesome hotel, Problem Child 2 was on. I remember watching that movie as a kid and boy is that movie NOT for kids! Hilarious though. We got up early the next day to visit Morning Star Cafe. We loved it so much we actually went back the next day!

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After a fun day of walking on the boardwalk and bowling ($5 special!) we headed out for a nice dinner at a Japanese steak restaurant. We thought Taylor’s plate of sushi was so pretty, it needed a picture. We love sushi! I got the shrimp pad thai- so good!



This man has now been in my life for over a decade. I can’t imagine what life would be like without him. We had the most wonderful trip, and I can’t wait for the rest of our lives.

Now let’s get back to reality!



Before I got married I had this built image in my head of what Saturday mornings would be. I thought of myself serving breakfast in bed to Taylor with a cute little apron on tied with a bow, the smell of fresh waffles wafting through the air as I wake him up with a good morning kiss, and the look on his face that I am the greatest wife on Earth.

Somewhere along the road I missed the train to domestic divaness, but I’m working my way there. Taylor decided to take the day off today and being super excited about that fact, I wanted to make it worthwhile! I got up out of bed, sprinted to the kitchen and got to work on breakfast! Apparently I was so discreet, the noise from the kitchen made him think the cats were getting into something. Nope, that’s just your crazy in love with you wife whipping up pancakes like June Clever in training!

We all know what kind of pancakes are put out by Denny’s, diners, and dads. Mostly white flour, lots of sugar, and really good. I have to praise them for what they do, however my waistline cannot so I improvise the best I can. I made instead Blueberry Almond Pancakes.

This recipe starts with flour, I used half whole wheat and half regular. I think all whole wheat is too much, but it’s not terrible. Then sugar, salt, and lots of baking powder. Are you a fan of pancake mix or making them from scratch? I can go for both, but I think homemade is better.

Then melted butter and an egg are added. Want to know my top secret diet ingredient that I add to most recipes I make over and over? The one thing I swear by in my banana bread and pancakes?

Smart Balance! This stuff is the best, really. It makes everything so moist! I also tried PureAlmond Almond Milk. I was curious to see how it would taste, because normally I use regular cow’s milk. That thought is funny to me…

Mix it all up! One tip I learned from Alton Brown years ago is to never over mix batter! Those lumps are there for a reason- mmm!

I used Michigan blueberries- so cute aren’t they?

As I started to pour about 1/4 cup of batter topping it with blueberries, I looked back on my days of early marriage pancake making. Fun fact: I was terrible. I was so afraid of burning them that I wouldn’t let them cook. Needless to say Taylor was very forgiving as he chocked down pale pancakes for quite some time. After making the subtle suggestion of letting them cook, just a little longer, I learned the error of my ways.

I’m happy to say I’ve improved! So much! We finished up the last of my hippie strawberries that were bursting with sweetness, topped our pancakes with HFCS free syrup, and dug in!

It was love at first bite. I asked him what he thought first, just to make sure I wasn’t biased. He loved them! Oh yeah! They were fluffy, they were sweet, they were the perfect amount of blueberry I love in my pancakes- just enough!

And my top secret diet ingredients? No one will ever know the difference!


Adapted from Big Oven found here

Makes: 10 pancakes for me

1 cup flour (half whole wheat)

1/4 cup sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

3 tbsp melted butter (or Smart Balance)

1 cup milk (PureAlmond)

about a 1/2 pint of blueberries


Mix all dry ingredients

Add in wet ingredients, one at a time

Mix, but don’t overdo it

If using a griddle, I find 325- 350 degrees is perfect for pancakes

Using about 1/4 cup of batter, pour into hot oil sprayed skillet

Drop as many blueberries on top as you like

Wait til they’re brown on the bottom, then flip


With lots of love,


There was a time I was what I call “fat.” Yes overweight, yes pudgy, yes pleasantly plump, chica muy gorda, chunky, and all that jazz. I didn’t start out that way, you’ve seen pictures of me growing up when I was so thin people would tell me I needed to gain weight. I had gained a little bit of weight after high school volleyball ended, but quickly lost it when I joined a gym and found exercise fun again. But then I got married, and I didn’t care anymore.

Marital bliss blinded me to the fact that there are trans fats in some fried foods, copious amounts of calories in fast food, and I just can’t eat all the hummus the world has to offer! By the way, that picture was taken before I did Locks of Love the second time. I hardly recognize myself! This was also taken after work, at a job I hated, I’m just thankful for family and friends because everyone there was a bummer.

It was so hard for me to open up to anyone over the issues I was having with food. I went to a young women’s bible study every week and finally mustered up the courage to talk to them. I was shaking as I told them about how I wanted to get healthy again, they embraced me with loving arms. No one had ever made me feel that comfortable and loved as a friend before. At that time I was really trying to eat healthy foods (mostly fruits, whole grains, brown rice, lean proteins, etc.) but my friends set me on a path that would forever help and change me.

I look pregnant don’t I?! Yeah, that’s what everyone thought too, but I wasn’t! This was also at a baby shower (go figure!) and I’m wearing a maternity shirt- Target is deceptive I tell you! All their maternity stuff looks like normal clothes! I’m so embarrassed by this picture, but this is all part of the process!

My friends told me I was eating too much. Too much? What does that mean, I’m tall so shouldn’t I eat more than you? “Well Amanda, even if you eat 5 fruits before lunch doesn’t mean your body needs it. You need to be eating foods that fill you up and help you curb your appetite so you aren’t reaching for anything you can grab at the moment. Fruit processes quickly, no wonder you’re so hungry!” It was eye opening, to say the least. I never really thought to myself that eating so much healthy food, would actually not be healthy for me! So from then on I changed- and this is what I did and do now to this day! If I can do it, SO CAN YOU. Please, let me be your motivator! I know just how hard it is!

1. Stay in your calorie allowance. I joined Livestrong, and used MyPlate I got so into it, I started to not check how many calories were in foods- because I already knew! It was fun coming up with recipes that I love, to make them healthier. What I love about the site is how much they stress the importance of exercise, which brings me to my next point.

2. Exercise. Whatever you have to do to get up off that couch and get moving, do it and do it now. I tried to reason with myself at first thinking that as long as I stayed in my calories I would lose weight and maintain. I did fine for a while, but it wasn’t until I started working up a sweat and strength training that I really got more toned and thinned out a lot. Exercise doesn’t have to be formal either! Some days I turn on my “running” playlist and boogy down while I clean. Pitbull is my favorite to dance to!

3. Don’t do a cheat day. I know this is big in the weight loss community, “Have a cheat day, you won’t feel deprived!” While I think the concept is good for people that have a very hard time sticking to a strict weekly plan, I think everyday should be a cheat day. Meaning, everyday eat healthy foods, but also allow yourself to eat unhealthy foods. If you’ve ever heard of the 90/10 or 80/20 rule, this works much better for me, and others I know. You eat healthy the majority of the day (80-90%) with good wholesome foods, but then for dessert you have a Skinny Cow or a scoop of ice cream (10-20%). Or you wake up and indulge in a donut, because you know the rest of the day is filled with lots of greens and happy foods! See what I mean? This has helped me so much, because cheat days for the people I know- means “gorge yourself so much you feel sick day!” 😦

4. Give yourself a break. You and I both know there are blogs out there that are so strictly regimented with food rules, it’s overwhelming! They have these expectations that everyone will eat vegetarian or vegan, organic, fair trade, locally, naturally, all the time! I’ll tell you how that makes me feel -completely inadequate! Not only can I not afford to eat that way all the time, I would be so concerned over every bite I put in my mouth I wouldn’t want to eat in the first place! Just thinking about my breakfast for example- I had organic vanilla yogurt with organic strawberries, topped with slivered almonds. Well everything was packaged in plastic, I didn’t wash my strawberries that well, and my almonds for sure have some sort of chemicals in them. See what I mean? I need to eat in peace! I can’t be worried about every little thing, because then I would worry about every other little thing in my life! AAHH!!

5. Stay at a constant pace. This has been the hardest part for me. Weight loss is a marathon- not a sprint! There are days I get so down on myself because without even thinking I rush through the drive thru because I’m running late and get a bean burrito. As I’m crumbling up the wrapper I realize- oh my gosh, I wasn’t even thinking about my health. I was most likely in {She-Hulk-Out} mode and all I wanted was food, then and there. But instead of feeling guilty about it forever, I figure out the calories, give myself some credit for at least the beans and cheese having some protein, and plan the rest of my day to supplement the nutrients I need to increase and the calories I need to cut back on. Keeping in mind the goal is always my health, and the race never ends until I’m old and wrinkly. Hopefully I’ll still be kickin it old school with sunglasses doing thai chi with my Hulkster- dare to dream! 🙂

So what about you? What do you do to stay fit?

I guess I am forever going to take naps on Sundays. No matter how much I fight the feeling, I can’t overcome the sleepiness I feel! Whenever we get out of church, we always go to lunch with my bff and her husband. By the time we’re full and hurting from laughing so hard, it’s time to go home. On the drive there I plan out my day. Ok, grocery shopping, cooking for the week, clean up a bit, wow why am I so tired?

Today we went to DiBella’s. We always get a large sub and split it. From there I eat half of the half, does that explain how big they are? Haha, they are huge! But delicious! This sub is called the Old Fashioned, and let me tell you- so good! It’s got turkey, ham and Genoa salami, on Italian bread with mozzarella and provolone and their signature oil sandwich topper. Redonkulous! We also love the Godfather if you want to try that one too. We had fun doing a mini photo shoot with our friends.


They’re fun, and even look even better in person

The other day when I made chicken enchiladas for Taylor to eat when he came home, I had a lot of extra I wasn’t expecting. I kept them safely in the fridge until tonight when we devoured them. I always seem to wake up from my Sunday naps in a crazy stupor, ready to rip someone’s head off if food isn’t presented in front of me in the next 2 seconds. Yep, I totally {She-Hulked} and I practically burned my mouth off eating the best enchiladas I’ve ever made!

Just the cheese is convincing isn’t it? Enchiladas are one of those unphotogenic, but delicious foods. You can never fully show how much you loved them because it’s hard to see it! I used this recipe from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run. Normally I am respectful towards a cook’s recipe and do not change it unless I’ve tried it in the original format. Well, since everyone on the internet has been raving, I decided I’d add not subtract anything. So all I did was double the recipe, added a can of black beans, used whole wheat tortillas, and took her mom’s advice of using a big not small can of green chilies. I love spicy, these definitely were so be careful if spice is not your thing.

Sooooooooo (yep 9 o’s!) good! No, great! I think the best thing I did was let them sit for the last two days in the fridge. All the flavors melded together to make a spicy (good) hot mess! Taylor and I looked at each other like, wha wha? This is amazing! I suggest you try this recipe because it’s really easy, on top of being very adaptable. You could add tomatoes, corn, top it with sour cream like we did. This is the kind of food that makes me have a little bit of home in a meal. Try it won’t you?!

Do you tap naps on Sunday? What is your routine for the weekend? Get ready for Monday Motivations tomorrow to get you through your week! 🙂

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