French Fries?

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Normally, I’m a sweet potato kinda gal. Either making my own or buying some of those fantastic Alexia Sweet Potato Fries. Don’t even get me started on their Waffle Cut Sweet Potato fries! But when I saw this pin on Pinterest I knew I had to tries these fries out!!

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So I did…and they were great! Should I feel guilty? All that melty cheese and crispy bacon. 5% of me says yes but the rest screams no! Comparing the quality of the ingredients I used and the control of portion size, I’m gonna let the one slide.

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Speaking of letting things slide, where have I been?? I was a bit surprised with myself when I realized I haven’t posted a thing since November! Yipes! I think about my blog all the time and things I want to post so…well I can’t think of a good reason other than I’ve been busy with enjoying my family and my work. Right now, I’m ok with that.
I have been thinking though, the New Year is approaching, are you going to have a resolution? Normally, I really don’t but this year I actually believe I do! Part of it is to spend more quality time with my blog (even if that is five minutes more 😉 ). The other I will share at the start of the New Year!
Until then, try out these fries! I think they would actually be very nice with sweet potatoes too!

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Original recipe can be found at Baked Bree or by clicking here. Yes, I know her fries look way pretty!

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Protein Pumped Oatmeal

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If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast picks!

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It’s hearty, sticks to your ribs, and fun to dress up. Nuts, nut butters, fruit, dried fruit, Biscoff, chocolate chips, they have all visited my bowl of oats at one time or another. But recently, my mad skills of oatmeal creation got a big ol’ slap in the face.
The can be made bigger, creamier and packed with protein.

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Short Cut

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So how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was pretty fantastic and I think a new tradition was born.

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Gobble, gobble! I got second place in my age group in the Thanksgiving 5k my town had! I actually felt pretty crappy during my run so I’m gunning for 1st next year! But really, what a great way to start the day before eating (too much) and laying around playing Words With Friends, stalking blogs I adore, and watching football!!
Today, I’m so proud of the recipe I have to share with you! With the holidays coming, I think this is a fantastic dish for a small get together! This dish will look like you spent hours in the kitchen, but with the short cuts I made, you’ll have a wonderful dish in no time!
Sometimes I’m just too busy, or too lazy to follow directions. So when I saw this chicken recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to find a way to make something like it! So I did…

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This chicken had amazing flavor! The puréed cauliflower complemented it well. Yes, that is cauliflower and not potatoes. This is a pretty healthy dish!

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Lost

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Everytime I eat Brie I think of Seattle. The other day when I made this sandwich, I instantly was reminded of a sandwich I had while I was in Seattle. It was an apple and Brie panini. I don’t have a panini gadget, so instead of making a grilled sandwich, I decided to use a tortilla again.

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Sandwich Time!

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Right now, it seems the only thing there is time to make and eat is a sandwich. And that may only get done standing up. As everyone else is getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, my husband and I (with the help of some friends and family) have about five different projects moving around our house all at the same time. I don’t anticipate that I’ll be able to get out there Black Friday, to experience the nostalgia and bliss of shopping for my little ones’ Christmas. You know…it is sort of like this…

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And by the way, if you have failed to watch The Walking Dead, I say shame on you and encourage you to spend Black Friday watching the first two seasons. And you can shop via the internet and choose to put on real clothes or stay in your pjs. See? It’s a win-win! Although, I think some people feel this concept is acceptable anywhere anymore.
So what else has been going on?
First we got asked to take a hot tub off my parents hands at a very low price. They had bought it less than two years ago and hardly ever used it and were ready to get it off their deck. We had a really small older hot tub (that maybe had four jets in the entire tub). We use it all the time and knew that we would be fools to pass it up! We were even able to quickly sell our old one, which made it an even better decision. The new hot tub is massive and took eight men to move. Later four of us tried to scoot it a couple inches and it was impossible. Massive.

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So project one: move tub, reinforce deck, and rewire electric to proper voltage.
The next project came last Saturday, my husband woke me up and told me there was sales on refrigerators that was too good to pass up. Within the hour, I was headed out with a latte in hand to make my purchase. I forgot to get a picture of the outside of it, it will be here Tuesday. But I did snap one of the inside. Sorry, I couldn’t completely open it because they had the fridges too close to each other.

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Glorious!! My kids are so excited because I told them we could put there snacks in the bottom pull out drawer, that way they could reach them. In fact, I’ve never seen kids so stoked about a refrigerator.
Project two, purchase new fridge, make plans for delivery, move all of our existing food elsewhere and make a home for our old fridge (we are hanging onto it for our rental). Move food into new fridge.
The very next day from purchasing the fridge, we went to a house auction that had loads of high end household items. The auction was packed and things were selling way overpriced. I did however get this lovely chair, ottoman, and matching couch. For a fair price.

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The chair and couch are huge which spurred several projects into motion at once.
Project three, move kids play room into a different room, create “man cave.”
Project four, paint both kids room and man cave, paint trim and ceiling, install new lighting.
Disaster one: man cave tv blew up! This tv was actually going to be move upstairs (we really only have one tv in our house at the time, you know the dead one…) in the living room so that I could watch The Walking Dead while my husband is watching football. Ahhhhhh!
So now project five: replace lamp in old tv, purchase man cave tv.
Project six: move around upstairs living room to accommodate tv after we get it repaired.
Project seven: restore the leather couch and chair. The furniture and leather itself are in great shape but the color in some places has faded. So far, from my research, I think that I am going to send in a sample to a company who will make me a balm to restore the color. Have you ever done this?? What was your experience?
Well that is the main projects right now!! I’m not in charge of Thanksgiving this year but I do have a fantastic recipe for making your turkey if you need one!!
But now, all I have time for is this:

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Thank you Pinterest!!
Yes these sandwiches are different (although not really), I made them back to back but used a different colored pepper.

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Here is all you need:
Adapted from: BS’ In The Kitchen
Roasted peppers (great TJ Maxx find!)
Goat cheese
Portabella mushrooms (I used 1 1/2 caps per sandwich, sliced)
Wrap (I used a Smart and Delicious wrap and really liked the flavor)
Olive oil in my Misto
Salt and pepper
1. Spray pan generously with olive oil. On medium heat add mushrooms, spray the top of the with oil and allow them to cook. Once they start to soften up, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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2. Remove cooked mushrooms from pan and set them aside. Add pepper if yours are cold so that they are nice and warm. Turn heat off. Wipe out pan carefully (don’t burn yourself!!) and add fresh olive oil. Add heat back and once oil is warm, add wrap. Top wit cheese and pepper and mushroom. Cook over medium. Once cheese starts warming, fold tortilla in half.
3. Put sandwich on a plate, cut and serve!!

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Soup Time!

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This week has been super chilly! It only seems right to break out the crockpot. Whenever my husband figures out I’m making vegetable soup, he gives me that look. That look that tells me he would rather eat pretty much anything else (including dirt). Then I remind him that there is beef and potatoes in it, and suddenly vegetable soup doesn’t sound too bad.

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The beef in this soup was perfect! It was a super thick chuck roast. Two days before making this soup, I thawed the roast out and then marinaded it olive oil and beef broth powder (similar to a bouillon just in powder form) and threw it in a container to hang out in my fridge. About 30 minutes before cooking, I took the roast out of the fridge and let it sit.
Here are the other ingredients I added:
1 bag mix frozen veggies (peas, corn, carrots)
1 large can stewed tomatoes with juice (I used a jar that I had canned)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
beef broth about 1 1/2-2 cups
Worcester
rosemary (few sprigs)
parsley (mine was dried)
onion powder (I would have added onion but I didn’t have any!)
sea salt and pepper

1. Cut beef into manageable pieces. I also removed any visible fat.

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2. In a lightly sprayed skillet, brown meat and cook celery until soft. My meat wasn’t completely cooked trough when it went into the crock pot, but close.
3. While meat is cooking, add everything else to crock pot. I started added rosemary to the top.

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4. Turn crock pot on low. When beef is done in skillet, add it to the top. Cover and slowly back away ;). No really, go have fun and know that come dinner time, all you have to do is scoop and serve!!

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Oh and remember how I said the beef was perfect?? Just look how it nearly fell apart on my spoon!

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Sore!

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Today I want to share with you a totally comforting dish! This dish is cheesy, salty, filling, and of course eggy!!
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But first I want to share with you an accomplishment I made yesterday!
I ran a 10.4 mile trail run!

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Awww look how happy I look. Who knew how sore I would be today!! I don’t think I’m completely sore from the run (although it was extremely difficult), but more from all of the times I almost fell during the run. We had quite a few days of rain right before the race, so the trail was extremely muddy.
Exhibit A and B

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I’m guessing I won’t be allowed to wear those shoes in the gym :(.
I looked for pictures of the race however the ones I found are completely misleading! They are all of these little flat spots of a beautifully wooded trails. Although the race was in a very beautiful setting, they failed to show pictures of all of the large hills you have to climb during the race (my husband counted seven). I’m pretty sure if there were seven, at least five of them were in the first five miles. A friend I was running with had asked me on the first hill if this was the “hill” I had been talking about (I had ran this course one other time in the past), I’m pretty sure that she didn’t like my response when I replied “it is one of them.”
The other “fun” part of this run was all of the creeks you had to get across (with no bridges). There were a few times my shoes got wet and that water was COLD!
But we made it! And I’m sure everyone felt proud!
Today however, I’m taking it easy because I’m so sore!
So let’s get back to cooking shall we?

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We have been having a heck of a time keeping up with the chickens and all of the eggs they’ve been laying. So when I came up with this dish, I wanted to make sure that I would have lots of the couscous mixture for leftovers.
Here is what I used:
whole wheat couscous
frozen spinach, thawed and squeeze dry
parmesan cheese
goat cheese (not shown)
butter and olive oil (also not shown)
bacon (entire package)
eggs
chicken broth or chicken bouillon
salt and pepper
When I made this, I had doubled the couscous and made roughly four cups cooked. I would suggest only making about two cups cooked because it is just so filling and let you dish have more bacon and spinach. But that is just me!
So here is what I did:
1. Boil couscous according to package. Instead of water I used chicken broth for extra flavor. I didn’t add salt because of the broth base having plenty of sodium (plus your adding bacon later!). Once couscous is cooked, add in a little fat. I used butter (about two tablespoons) and just a bit of olive oil.

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2. While couscous is cooking, fry your bacon until crispy.

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3. Combine couscous, bacon, spinach, and goat cheese (I used what was left in my fridge probably about 11/2-2 ounces.
4. Fry eggs over easy and add a little sprinkle of salt and pepper while cooking.
5. In a bowl, add couscous mixture.

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(This may have been a little too much for one serving.)
6. Top with an egg (or two and parmesan). Serve!!

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