Chocolate waffles Sunday

July 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm

(Sunday, 6/26/11)

The dish fairy came last night.

When I went to bed last night there was an entire sink full of dirty dishes and when I got up they had miraculously been put in the dishwasher and it had been run. I love it when that happens!

This morning was super dark and dreary outside.

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It’s so nice when a stormy day coincides with a day where there are really no outdoor plans.

The initial plans for today called for WAFFLES.

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Cal requested chocolate waffles, so I made two plain ones (for Chad and me), then added cocoa powder to the rest of the batter for the boys.

Here’s my basic recipe for “somewhat healthier” waffles, which I adapted from a recipe that came with my waffle iron.

Somewhat Healthier Waffles

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups almond milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Allow batter to rest at least 5 minutes while the waffle iron heats up. Stir again and if it seems too thick add a tiny bit of milk until you like the consistency (whole wheat flour absorbs liquid more slowly than white flour). Pour scant 1 cup batter onto the center of the bottom grid of the waffle iron. Close the top and flip the waffle maker. You MUST have a waffle maker that flips to make good Belgian waffles. Bake about 4 minutes or until there is no more steam coming out of the waffle maker and you like how brown it is.

I made two regular ones, then added about two tablespoons of cocoa power to the batter and made three chocolate ones.

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This recipe is perfect because we each get one waffle on Sunday, then I freeze one for the boys to have later in the week. When I give them the half-waffle I also make eggs to go with it, which I don’t do when they get a whole waffle. Also, did you notice all that awesome fruit? Isn’t summertime wonderful?

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Cantaloupes (and almost all berries) are on sale right now and so good.

After breakfast the boys and I headed to the gym. It was pouring down rain, so I was happy to score a parking space in the covered parking. Parking karma strikes again.

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Cal was here too, but didn’t want to be photographed.

First I did a 10 minute warm-up on the elliptical (I don’t do a warm-up when I bike to the gym, duh), my 1-mile “fast” run on the dreadmill (9:40 today…shaving off the seconds), then 20 more minutes on the elliptical.

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Then it was time for bodypump. I pushed it to the last minute possible on the elliptical, so I was stuck with a spot right up front in bodypump. At least it made for a different point of view for elicit photography.

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I was very happy that my wrist and arm felt fine for bodypump. I think it was a very good idea to have skipped pump on Friday and give my wrist a chance to heal. My shoulder did hurt a little, but I think that is from swimming, not from my bike fall. I did all my normal weights and feel great now.

When we left the gym it was still totally pouring rain, even though it looks sunny in this photo.

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It was just dark under there, so the camera compensated by overexposing the meager light source. I’m just posting this to demonstrate my awesome parking karma.

I realized as we were leaving the gym that I needed to go by Publix to get some snacks (and mixers) to take to a little party tonight. Unfortunately my parking karma didn’t extend to Publix this morning and apparently everybody in St. Pete (except me) does their grocery shopping on Sunday mornings. It was packed and we all had to walk a pretty good distance in the pouring rain. Good thing I was already soaked through with sweat so I didn’t care. Mack was the only one who cared so I let him carry the umbrella.

I did make one impulse buy at Publix.

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Brown rice spicy tuna roll! Or, I guess I should say “rolls” as this was a double roll. They didn’t have any single-roll boxes. Oh darn. I ate half for lunch at noon and half for a snack at 3:30. I love Publix sushi. I am not a sushi snob.

So the rest of the plans for today include laundry (um, duh), blog reading, TV watching, ignoring the rest of the dirty house, showering, dinner made by Chad (marinated salmon and salad) and biking to Barb’s house for a True Blood Season Premier Party!

That is, if the weather cooperates…

weather forecast

Ricotta and Spinach Chicken Roll-ups

June 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

[Friday, 6/24/11]

Tonight I made the most delicious dinner. Our house smells like garlic and Italian herbs in the best way possible right now.

The other day I was walking around the meat department in Publix trying to figure out what I would make for dinner on Friday (today). I am usually inspired by the protein and go from there. I noticed that the thin-sliced Purdue chicken breasts were on sale.

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That reminded me of this recipe for Cordon Bleu style chicken that I had seen on Roni Noone’s food website, GreenLiteBites. I knew I had leftover ricotta cheese at home from ravioli lasagna last week, as well as spinach and ham. I decided to adapt her recipe and make an Italian version of the chicken roll-ups.

Even though the chicken breasts were already pretty thinly sliced, Cal helped me bang them out very flat.

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Next, I took my half-full container of ricotta and added a small squirt of the tube garlic and a bigger squirt of the tube Italian herbs. I filled the container the rest of the way up with the grated cheese and mixed everything well.

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Next, spread the ricotta mixture on the pounded chicken.

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Next, a layer of spinach.

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Then ham.

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Then roll up the chicken, starting with the skinnier end. Don’t worry about stuff hanging out or oozing out. It doesn’t matter.

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Roll the roll-up in egg. If you roll in the same direction that you rolled up the roll-up it won’t come unrolled. Got it? You really don’t need to use a toothpick or anything to secure the roll up.

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Next, roll in bread crumbs. (again, roll in the same direction, etc.).

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I made my own breadcrumbs, like Roni, using my Magic Bullet. I just used a couple of slices of whole wheat bread which I toasted a little first to dry them out a bit. Then I tore them into pieces and put them in my Magic Bullet (you could also use a food processor or mini-chopper) with a little onion powder, garlic power, dried Italian herbs and dried parsley. You could also just use store-bought breadcrumbs or whatever you want.

Arrange all the roll-ups in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam, flap-side down.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Oh man, they came out PERFECT.

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I also roasted some cauliflower. I tossed a whole head of cauliflower with about two tablespoons of Garlic Gold (which I found in the Greenwise section at Gateway Publix) and a little Nature’s Seasoning (salt/pepper mixture).

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This is seriously the best cauliflower I have ever tasted.

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The boys’ dinner:

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The boys’ dinner after I cut up their chicken so that it actually looks like a decent amount of food:

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Chad and I also had this for dinner and everybody loved it. Every bite of everything got eaten. There is nothing to dump on my salad tomorrow. I guess that is a successful dinner!