Casserole, spin, pump, crockpot

September 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Last night’s dinner, Potato, Kale and Sausage Casserole, was delicious.


Super easy too. I first saw this dish on my friend Katie’s blog, A Full Plate. She had altered it slightly from the original recipe on Poet in the Pantry, by subbing spinach for kale. I also altered it a little by using turkey hot Italian sausage. So good.


The boys loved it too. They even commented that their friends complain about having casseroles for dinner, but that they love them. Who doesn’t love a good casserole?

If you do make it, use as much kale (or spinach or whatever greens you like) as you can fit in a very large sauté pan. It shrinks by about 80%, I think.



This was my first portion…


but I went back for seconds and then couldn’t stop taking more bites. It was kind of irresistible.

Chad and I watched Newsroom last night. We had a few episodes piled up on Tivo, so the one we watched last night was where they do the mock Republican nominee debate.


I would so love to watch Will McAvoy (channeling Aaron Sorkin) moderate a real debate.

This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school (it’s two miles round trip). It takes forever because Chewie has to pee fifty times, poop at least three times, and randomly lose his mind over invisible smells on the asphalt.


There’s nothing there Chewie! Mack says he’s checking is pee-mail.


After I got home and got Cal off to the bus stop with the car pool, I quickly ate breakfast. Luckily it was already prepared in the form of overnight oats in a jar, thanks to a spent jar of peanut butter.


All I had to do this morning was cut a banana up into it. So pretty.


So delicious and filling.

I’m always in a hurry on Wednesday mornings to get to the gym and sign up for spin class. It fills up fast and you have to get there early to reserve a bike. My friend Britt met me there, as usual.


Spin always totally kills me. I end up with soggy socks because of so much sweat running down my legs.




After spin I changed into a dry sports bra and t-shirt, which felt like heaven. I wore my triathlon shirts today…


to get me psyched up for my first open water swim, which will be attempted with the St. Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club tonight. Wish me luck.

After spin class I went to BodyPump.


Hope I have enough energy left to battle the ocean tonight.


When I got home from the gym I got all the ingredients together for dinner…


and threw them into the crockpot.


It’s going to be French Onion Chicken from The Crockin’ Girls (plus rice and broccoli).

After I got that going I took a shower, then remembered at the last possible moment that it was early release day in time to go pick up Mack. The long weekend has totally thrown me off this week. I spaced and forgot a doctor’s appointment that Mack was supposed to have yesterday. Luckily they had a cancelation so I can take him tomorrow. His birthday was in May, so he’s already a little overdue for his check-up. Bad Mama.


By the time I got him home I was starving so I threw together a salad with last night’s casserole leftovers dumped on top.


Mack and I hung out for a little while until it was time to pick up Cal from the bus stop. We’re leaving in just a bit for karate. I’m dropping the boys off then heading out to Pass-a-grille (St. Pete Beach) for my swim. I definitely have a little anxiety about it, but I’m sure it will be fine. I hope.


Spin, Pump, Cottage-Flower Pie

August 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm

So when we last left our hero, she was about to eat chicken sausage that had been in the freezer for ten months, despite the controversy the very idea created on Facebook. And now I’ll stop talking about myself in the third person and just say that I cooked the hell out of that sausage…


and it was delicious. I could not detect any freezer burn or “off” taste of any kind. And there were no adverse gastro-intestinal repercussions, so I would say that sausage that has been frozen for ten months is edible! Now we know.

After dinner I went on the family evening walk with the boys.


It had been a while since I walked with them in the evenings because I usually get so much other exercise during the day and am in the middle of writing a blog post when they go. So I bail. But last night I felt like going.

Mack often runs ahead…


while Chewie and I always lag behind. He makes lots of pit stops.


It was so hot and muggy after all of the rain we have had. My heart is breaking for the poor people getting slammed by Isaac today since we were so lucky. I took that image off of Monday’s post where I joked about it. I was getting a gazillion search engine hits from it, and I don’t want to make light of it since so many people are experiencing serious devastation from the storm.

This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school, I got Cal off to the bus stop with our car pool, then I had breakfast.


That’s the end of the peach cobbler baked oatmeal. I’m definitely going to have to make that again. I thought it was delicious and the boys like it (when it wasn’t served with yogurt). It helped make breakfast quick and easy for a couple of days and held up well in the refrigerator.

After breakfast I hurried to the gym to get on the list for spin class. That class fills up quickly. After I got signed up I killed ten minutes on the elliptical…


until my friend Britt arrived. She was very nice about taking pictures of me, since I don’t have very many pictures of myself on the blog.


Britt and me in the black light of the spin room:


It’s galactic spinning!


I wore my new Bontrager cycle shoes to spinning so I could look like all the other hard-core cool ladies at spin. I figured practicing on a bike that can’t fall over would be a good thing.


I’m not sure how much of a difference the shoes made in spin class, but they were comfortable. Spin class kicked my butt as usual. It always totally wrecks me.


After spin I changed into a dry t-shirt and headed to BodyPump. My gym (and Twitter) friend Lorena took this picture for me:


Don’t know why I’m so pigeon-toed there. I don’t know why I still have any friends considering how annoying my constant picture-taking and picture-begging must be.

After the gym I took a much needed shower and had lunch.


Still loving the Florida avocado, but I forgot it was in the fridge and the thing is so huge I don’t know how I will finish it. I’ve eating 1/3 of it (1/6 on each of two salads), so I still have 2/3 of it left and it’s starting to get mushy in there. Guess I should make some guac.

After lunch I picked Mack up from school and in a little while Cal came home via car pool. I made strawberry/banana Yonanas with chocolate chips for snack.




While the boys did homework and then watched television I prepped dinner.

A couple of days ago I saw a dinner on my friend Jenny’s blog (Run Hot Momma) for a paleo version of Shepherd’s Pie. Paleo, meaning no potatoes. My kids love Shepherd’s Pie (Chad makes it fairly often), so I wanted to try it. I Googled it and found the recipe here: Paleo Comfort Food: Cottage-Flower Pie .

Some of the ingredients on my messy counter:


Of course I made a few substitutions, because I’m not really a paleo eater so didn’t care if I used liquid aminos instead of coconut aminos. You could also you soy sauce (tastes pretty much the same), but that also wouldn’t be paleo.

Making fake mashed potatoes:



Cooking, in case you don’t know what cooking looks like:






After I got it all casseroled I stuck it in the oven on a delayed timer and the boys and I headed to Cal’s karate class.


While we were at karate Chad beat us home and took dinner out of the oven, so it had a chance to cool a few minutes by the time we got home.



The boys liked it, but they said, “Yeah…definitely cauliflower, not potatoes.” Whatever. I thought it was good.


Now the boys are off on the family evening walk without me. I figured that with a two mile walk to school this morning, ten minutes on the elliptical, spin class, and BodyPump I was on the verge of excessercising. Plus, I had to finish this blog post.