27 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!

follow1 Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving!

cooking 1024x677 Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope this post finds everyone comfy and cozy, spending the day with their families. I’m up in Oklahoma enjoying some family time in a log cabin in the woods! Plan for today is to relax, eat, relax, and eat some more. Nothing is holding me back from that turkey and stuffing today!

I thought I’d come up with a list of what I’m thankful for!

My boyfriend of almost five years, Nick. This guy’s 27th birthday was yesterday, Happy Birthday to him!

me and nick Happy Thanksgiving!

Our new little schnoodle puppy, Link. He may be a handful but his adorable-ness makes up for it.

2014 11 23 13.25.33 678x1024 Happy Thanksgiving!

My wonderful family, always fun to be around! I can’t believe both my sister and I are fully grown, working adults (lol) and my little brother is getting ready to go off to college next year.

family Happy Thanksgiving!

Great friends are so important! So excited to be a part of this girl’s wedding next summer!

friends Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m grateful for nature. Nothing makes me feel better than taking a walk outside, going for a hike, or riding our bikes.

nature Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my job, having a place to live, having access to healthy food. There are so many people in this world who don’t have these things. We should be grateful for what we do have and give back in any way that we can.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, I can’t wait to see all those pics of your dinners on Instagram!

24 Nov

Spinach Artichoke Dip

follow1 Spinach Artichoke Dip Happy Monday!

I am so excited that it’s Thanksgiving week. This holiday is pretty much my favorite, food-wise. I can’t get enough of the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls, pumpkin pie… so excited! This year I’m taking a road trip with my family to my Aunt’s cabin in the woods of Oklahoma. I am so happy to be getting away and being able to relax and eat good food. Sad to have to leave Link the puppy with Nick for so long but mommy needs a break!

My friends over at ALOHA are doing a “pass the dish” for holiday gatherings project  and I decided to join in, giving my own spin on “bringing a dish to pass.”. You can check out ALOHA’s awesome recipe page here.

Spinach Artichoke Dip 1 Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love spinach artichoke dip at parties and holiday get-togethers. I’m always the one to hover over it, eating crackerful after crackerful. Keep me away from the spinach artichoke dip or it’ll be gone before you know it!

 This spinach artichoke dip is filled with three different types of cheese, sour cream, mayo garlic, vinegar, spinach and artichokes! It’s made healthier by choosing all low-fat or fat free versions of cheese, sour cream, and mayo. Serve with a side of reduced-fat Wheat Thins, or thinly sliced French bread.

Spinach Artichoke Dip 2 Spinach Artichoke Dip

Once you combine all the ingredients, it only needs to bake for about 20 minutes. Talk about an easy appetizer! It’s sure to be a hit at your next gathering!

Here’s the recipe:

Spinach Artichoke Dip 21 Spinach Artichoke Dip
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Spinach Artichoke Dip 21 Spinach Artichoke Dip
Yields 13
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups parmesan cheese
  2. 10oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  3. 1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  4. 2/3 cup light sour cream
  5. 1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  6. 2 tsp minced garlic
  7. 1/2 cup feta cheese
  8. 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, thawed
  9. 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix together the parmesan, spinach and artichokes.
  3. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, feta, vinegar.
  4. Combine the two bowls together, spread into a 13x9 baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve with crackers or bread!
Zen & Spice http://www.zenandspice.com/
22 Nov

Grandma’s Super Moist Pumpkin Bread

follow1 Grandmas Super Moist Pumpkin Bread
It’s that time again– Recipe Redux! The first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you.

This month, the theme is: A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful!

In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.

I decided to share my Grandma’s Super Moist Pumpkin Bread recipe! We’ve been making this for years around the holidays. My Grandma must have made this bread the first time probably 15-20 years ago. I still have the original printout of the email that she sent my mom with the recipe in 2004. My mom always makes several loaves of this during the holidays, and she sometimes batch cooks it and hands it out to friends as Christmas presents. In fact, I made Nick’s family all a loaf of this bread last year and they loved it!

  Pumpkin Bread 1 575x1024 Grandmas Super Moist Pumpkin Bread

My Grandma’s original recipe calls for three cups of sugar and one cup of oil. I made it healthier by substituting applesauce for half of the oil, and Splenda for half of the sugar. We’ve made this before with whole wheat pastry flour and it comes out just as good as well!

Pumpkin Bread 2 Grandmas Super Moist Pumpkin Bread

Whenever I bake this bread, the yummy smell fills my entire apartment with the smells of Christmas and the holidays! It brings back memories of my Grandma bringing this bread and us kids devouring the entire loaf in five minutes.

Here’s the recipe, enjoy! Make this tasty, moist bread for your friends and family this holiday season!

Grandma's Super Moist Pumpkin Bread
Yields 2
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 1 1/2 cups Splenda or Stevia
  4. 1/2 cup olive oil
  5. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  6. 16oz can pureed pumpkin
  7. 4 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  10. 2/3 cup water
Sift together
  1. 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp baking soda
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs first, add sugar, Splenda, oil, applesauce, pumpkin and spices. Mix well.
  3. Add flour mixture alternatively with water. Divide the batter between two loaf pans.
  4. Bake for one hour (until a toothpick comes out clean).
Zen & Spice http://www.zenandspice.com/

 

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20 Nov

Starting an At-Home Yoga Practice

So, lately I haven’t been able to make it to the yoga studio as much as I would like. Life has been a little crazy lately and it’s been hard! We got our new puppy last weekend and we’ve been busy getting ready for him for weeks before that.

Having an eight week old puppy is seriously taking up all of our time. We wake up in the morning and play with him and help him go to the bathroom. I come home during lunch and play with him some more. When I get home from work, I let him out of his crate and I feel bad leaving when he’s been in his kennel all day! I had been going to yoga after work for months now so it’s hard not having time to go anymore. It seems silly to pay $100+ per month for yoga when I can only make it one time a week.

I figured this would happen, so I have been doing some research on how to create yoga sequences at home. I’m hoping to be able to practice in the morning or when I get home from work in our living room, that way I can keep an eye on the puppy.

zen 1024x770 Starting an At Home Yoga Practice Read More